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Book Launch & Reception: Lydia Cabrera – Between the Sum and the Parts

Americas Society

June 5, 2019


In partnership with

Lydia Cabrera: A Legacy of Afro-Cuban Literature, Ethnography, and Artistry

Gabriela Rangel, director and chief curator of Americas Society, and Dr. Martin Tsang, Cuban Heritage Collection librarian and curator of Latin American Collections at the University of Miami, will discuss Lydia Cabrera, her archive, and the launch of the first English volume dedicated to the Cuban thinker’s life and work, Lydia Cabrera: Between the Sum and the Parts. The talk will be moderated by Dr. Solimar Otero, professor of folklore in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University.

Purchase the publication here.

This program is complimentary. Prior registration is required. To register, please email

Image: Cover of Lydia Cabrera: Between the Sum and the Parts published by Americas Society (New York) and Koenig Books (London), 2019.

About Lydia Cabrera

Ever the sojourner, Lydia Cabrera blurred the lines between historian, ethnographer, and storyteller, reality and fiction. Finding their initial audience in the avant-garde milieu of interwar Paris, Cabrera's stories influenced by Afro-Cuban myths and folktales continue to delight and inspire generations of artists, writers, and scholars. Born in Havana in 1899, educated in Paris, exiled from Cuba with the Revolution, and resided in Miami until her passing in 1991, Cabrera’s legacy is far-reaching and her ethnographic and literary contributions are unparalleled. Cabrera’s papers and research materials were donated to the Cuban Heritage Collection—the largest repository of materials on or about Cuba located outside of the island, and her collection draws researchers from around the world, spanning innumerable disciplines. Cabrera devoted her life to the preservation of Afro-Cuban cultures and religions, work that culminated in her scholarly masterpiece, El Monte, in which the voices and rituals of the dead and Afro-Atlantic deities animate Cuba's wilderness. The talk celebrates the launch of the first English volume dedicated to her life and work and introduces Cabrera’s substantial and multifaceted legacy to new and expanding audiences.