A Pulitzer for History to Cuban Author Ada Ferrer

Ada Ferrer Pulitzer Prize for History.

The award-winning book is the result of 30 years of research and “a lifetime of change,” according to its author.

By Alas Tensas

HAVANA TIMES – Ada Ferrer, a Cuban-American historian and academic, won the Pulitzer Prize in the historical book category on Monday, thanks to her work Cuba: An American History.

The award-winning book is the result of 30 years of research and “a lifetime of changing perspectives between the country where I was born and the country where I made my life. It is, at the same time, a story that I have inherited and a story that I have created from many other possible ones. It is, in other words, what I have made of my sometimes heavy inheritance,” says the author in the prologue.

Published by Scribner Books, it appears for sale on Amazon. The work is original within the histories on Cuba, as it is also an autobiography and a critical look at the dispute between the island and the United States, nations where Ferrer was educated.

“I was born in Havana between the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 and the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. My father was in New York, having left the Island a few months earlier. My mother went into labor alone and asked for a taxi to go to the Obrera Maternity Hospital,” says the author.

The Pulitzer, dedicated to rewarding the best of journalism worldwide, is awarded annually in the United States to also recognize literary creators, historians and musical composers. This year, Ferrer’s book shared the award with Covered with Night: A Story of Murder and Indigenous Justice in Early America, by author Nicole Eustace, on a night in which the Miami Herald newspaper was also recognized in the News of Breaking News category and The Washington Post for their “forceful and vivid” coverage of the assault on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, as well as Ukrainian journalists for their work amid the Russian invasion.

Cuba: An American History, had been awarded days before, also in the historical book category, at the L.A. Times Book Festival in Los Angeles, which recognizes the best titles of 2021.

The review on Amazon describes the work as “an ambitious and moving chronicle written for a moment that demands a new reckoning of both the Island’s past and its relationship with the United States”, which “explores the sometimes surprising intimacy, often contentious, between the two countries, documenting not only the influence of the United States in Cuba, but also the many ways in which the Island has been a recurring presence in US affairs. This, then, is a story that will give US readers an unexpected perspective on their own nation’s history and, in doing so, help them imagine a new relationship with Cuba.”

Ada Ferrer (Cuba, 1961) has been a professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University since 1995. Her resume includes the books Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868–1898 (The University of North Carolina Press, 1999), winner of the 2000 Berkshire Book Prize for the best first book by a woman in any field in history, and Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2014), which won the Frederick Douglass Prize from Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center, as well as multiple awards from the American Historical Association.


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One thought on “A Pulitzer for History to Cuban Author Ada Ferrer

  • I read this back in January and can highly recommend it for someone with a serious interest in Cuban history. Do be aware it is 560 pages and not light reading. But well worth it.

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