Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Divine Husband by Francisco Goldman

Focusing now on Latin America, our next book will be "The Divine Husband" written by Francisco Goldman.

Here's a book summary:
The Divine Husband tells the story of María de las Nieves Moran, daughter of an Irish-American father and a Central American mother, whose brief career as a nun is terminated when a rapacious general closes the convents — in part to reach her beautiful, aristocratic best friend Paquita, hidden away from him in the cloister. María de las Nieves makes her own way in the secular world, surrounded by an unforgettable cast of characters striving for love or success in late-nineteenth-century Central America and New York: José Martí, the poet and hero of nineteenth-century Cuban independence and the first man María de las Nieves loves; Mack Chinchilla, the Yankee-Indio entrepreneur intent on winning her hand; a stuffy British diplomat setting up a political impostor plot; and Mathilde, the daughter whose birth — perhaps fathered by one of these men — ruins María de las Nieves's reputation and launches her on a journey to a new future in New York.

Our next meeting with be on Sunday May 29, 2011 at 2pm at Bello Coffee and Tea in the Glen Park neighborhood.

Next book: Late for Tea at the Deer Palace by Tamara Chalabi (June 2011)

Following the story of HIV/AIDS in Africa

A great discussion on following the stories of 28 individuals from different countries of Africa to share the history of HIV/AIDS and all the complexities and the reasons for why the situation has been deteriorating. It wasn't a pretty picture and it's hard to be hopeful, but there are inspiring stories from the grassroots that motivate us to see incredible human victories.

Stories range from young children being orphaned by parents who died of HIV/AIDS and are either taken care of themselves, or been taken in by their grandparents, to the African scientist who determines to find the cure after endless research, to individuals taking extra caution, yet still acquired HIV/AIDS - all show the critical issue of how HIV/AIDS has influenced this continent.

It's a political sad story that stars the pharmaceutical industries who do not want to facilitate access to medicine for HIV/AIDS treatment... governments who carry their own agenda around the illness and patriarchy being as predominant as ever.

This is a wonderful book that lays out comprehensively the different actors played in the HIV/AIDS story.