From the moment Castro captures Havana in 1959, 17-year-old Sonya believes in the promise of the Cuban Revolution. A medical student who dreams of becoming a painter, she joins the militia. As a medic at the Bay of Pigs, she's stunned to find a lost love on the other side of the battlefield - and then finds herself imprisoned and tortured by her own comrades. This title is based on a true story.
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Inverna Lopez is a Havana-born artist and curator. She became involved in the 1960s political art movements, including the pioneering feminist exhibition X 12 and the anti-Vietnam War "People's Flag Show". Dean Haspiel is the creator of Eisner Award-nominated Billy Dogman. He has drawn comics for The New York Times, DC/Vertigo, Marvel, Dark Horse among others.From School Library Journal:
Gr 10 Up–This memoir is an excellent example of the graphic novel's ability to make pain visible. Opening panels dated December 31, 1958, introduce Sonya, fashionably dressed in vibrant red, looking forward to a new year with Fidel Castro's overthrow of the Batista regime and a new hope for Cuba. "I feel a new beginning has come for my country. Finally the justice and equality we have yearned for is about to happen." Sonya gets caught up with the fervor of this movement and renounces her plans to study art. Instead she joins the military and commences medical studies in her zeal to bring positive change to her beloved country. However, life in Cuba becomes progressively worse. This is signaled visually by the change to a black-and-white palette. She is imprisoned and tortured by her own country. Her mother, stepfather, and infant sister are finally able to leave, but Sonya stubbornly refuses to go, clinging to her dreams and ideals. The final panel reveals her tear-stained face, etched with the years of pain and horror as she finally leaves Cuba. "I don't know right from wrong anymore. What happened to the principles we believed in five years ago? I'm always afraid, all the time. All the time." The pain is both visually and verbally palpable. Due to graphic depictions of violence and nudity this searing account is most appropriate for mature readers.Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
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