John Hemingway to Present Talk at Tropic Cinema as Part of KWAHS Distinguished Speaker Series

Author John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest Hemingway, will speak at the Tropic Cinema, Thursday, January 28 as part of the Key West Art & Historical Society Distinguished Speaker Series. Photo Courtesy of John Hemingway
Author John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest Hemingway, will speak at the Tropic Cinema, Thursday, January 28 as part of the Key West Art & Historical Society Distinguished Speaker Series. Photo Courtesy of John Hemingway

On Thursday, January 28, from 6:00pm-7:00pm, Key West Art & Historical Society welcomes the public to the Tropic Cinema for “Cuba at the Crossroads,” an evening presentation presented by John Hemingway, author and grandson of the iconic Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway, who grew up in Miami and has visited Cuba three times in the last year, will share his perceptions of our neighboring island and the many contradictions that saturate it.

“Cuba has, after more than fifty years of living or at least trying to live up to its revolutionary ideals, reached a point where its many contradictions are forcing the regime’s hand and are demanding change,” he says. “This is an island of at times grinding poverty, in a supposedly classless society, where the well-connected and the privileged can purchase at special stores the latest in foreign perfumes that are often the equivalent of what an average Cuban might earn in three months.”

The American writer and translator is no stranger to contradictions, as seen in his book “Strange Tribe,” a memoir that describes the love/hate relationship and striking similarities between his father, Dr. Gregory Hemingway, and his grandfather, Ernest Hemingway. His presentation on Thursday will mirror his ability to carefully observe both sides of the coin, illuminating the difficult beauty and truth of the island his grandfather was so drawn to.

“Change is imperative for this sensual island that Ernest Hemingway so loved and where he lived for the last 20 years of his life,” he says. “But whether that change will be managed by both Cuba and the United States or it comes instead with a collapse of the Cuban government (and the possibility of millions of refugees fleeing across the Straits of Florida) remains to be seen.”

The talk is part of the organization’s Distinguished Speaker Series, a twice-monthly program that highlights the abundant history and cultural assets of our islands through informal lectures. Tickets are available at through the Tropic’s Box Office at tropiccinema.com/special; $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers. For more information, contact Adele Williams, Programs & Education Director at 305.295.6616 x 115 or visit KWAHS.ORG.

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