Join us on Thursday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Gato Gallery of Thompson Hall for a reading and discussion with novelist Pamela Bauer Mueller. The award-winning author will present her eighth historical novel, Fly, Fly Away, a meticulously researched and evocative depiction of the Pedro Pan children.
A response to the threat of Communist indoctrination in Cuban schools in the early 1960s, Operation Pedro Pan soon became the largest exodus of unaccompanied children in the Western Hemisphere. On the heels of the Cuban revolution, families seeking to protect their children from Communist ideology faced the unimaginable prospect of sending them to a foreign country. More than 14,000 Cuban minors arrived in the U.S. between 1960 and 1962, and many remained in Miami under the care of the Catholic Welfare Bureau. Based on these true events, Fly, Fly Away is a poignant rendering of the bravery and compassion, hope and loss American and Cuban families experienced as they sought freedom for a generation of young refugees.
Mueller’s research and extensive interviews with people who lived through the Pedro Pan movement allowed her weave together many revealing examples of how young people in the 1960s managed to tap into the Cubans’ characteristic resilience to build a better future for themselves and their families. As you read, you will get to know Liliana and her father: “‘You must be very brave, Liliana. This will be just a temporary separation, but you must take care of your younger brother Diego.’ His smile wavered as tears formed in his eyes.”
Presented by the Adrian Dominican School of Education, the Department of English and Foreign Languages, the Department of Communication, and University Archives, this evening with Pamela Bauer Mueller promises to shine a light on an overlooked chapter of American and Cuban history. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing will immediately follow the presentation. Copies of Fly, Fly Away will be available for purchase. We hope you’ll join us!