Thursday, February 13, 2014

Author & Professor Victor Triay in The Hubbard Room 2/18

Story of Cuban Underground Freedom Fighters to be Topic of Historical Society Program

Havana, Cuba, 1960. The euphoria following the nation’s successful revolution the previous year has waned among large sectors of the population.  Cuba’s new leader, Fidel Castro, after having promised to restore democracy to the troubled island, is moving the country toward a Communist dictatorship.  In response, democratic forces launch an anti-government insurgency to save Cuba from totalitarian darkness.  This struggle forms the basis of the trilogy of historical fiction that is The Unbroken Circle series.  The story centers on the middle class Leon family who is caught up in a world of warfare, betrayal, and separation during the early years of the Cuban Revolution.

In Book I, The Struggle Begins, Goyo Leon, a devoted teacher and family man, is recruited into the anti-Castro underground after his father is killed at the hands of Castro’s henchmen.  He and other family members subsequently become more deeply involved in the pro-democracy struggle every day.  Told with heart-pounding suspense of a Cold War saga and the poignancy of a family drama, The Struggle Begins sets the stage for Book II, Freedom Betrayed, the story of the Goyo’s and other family members’ participation in the Bay of Pigs invasion.  After the invasion, the two youngest members of the Leon family are separated from the family after being sent away on an airlift of Cuban refugee children.

In a program sponsored by the Middlesex County Historical Society, Victor Triay, the author of these spellbinding books, will speak about how he came to write the series, about the characters, and about the history behind the fiction at a program to be held on Tuesday, February 18 at 7:00 pm in the Hubbard Room at Russell Library.  He will also recount his experiences researching the many events depicted in the books.  

Triay, the son of Cuban exiles, was raised in Miami, a center of the Cuban exile community.  He received his PhD. in History from Florida State University in 1995 and has been a professor in history at Middlesex Community College since 1992.  His first book, Fleeing Castro: Operation Pedro Pan and the Cuban Children’s Program, was followed by Bay of Pigs: An Oral History of Brigade 2506, which received the 2001 Samuel Proctor Oral History Prize of the Florida Historical Association.  Copies of Books I and II in the Unbroken Circle series will be available for purchase and inscription.  Russell Library, located at 123 Broad Street, Middletown, is handicap accessible.  This program is free and open to the public.  For further information, contact the Historical Society at 860-346-0746.

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