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Debbie Shannon
A Crowded Loneliness: The Story of Loss, Survival, and Resilience of a Peter Pan Child of Cuba

Adult; Memoir; (Market)

Set in Havana during the Cuban Revolution and in the Deep South before and during the Civil Rights Movement, A Crowded Loneliness, is based on the true story of Bienvenida Catalina Miranda. Her family worked closely with Fidel Castro to overthrown the dictator Fulgencio Batista, until Castro announced that he was a communist. After her brother’s arrest and her father’s death, 9-year-old Catalina and her 11-year-old brother, Mario, took part in Operation Peter Pan—a mass exodus of over 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the United States between 1960 and 1962. They boarded a plane to Miami with little more than the clothes on their backs. A week later, the dark-skinned Catalina and Mario found themselves separated and shipped off to orphanages in New Orleans—in the Jim Crow South. A Crowded Loneliness is a moving story about a family torn by politics and about a young girl’s struggle to adapt and her courage to never let go of her dreams.