LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: The Coconut Latitudes by Rita Gardner
Saturday, October 11th, 2014 || 7pm
Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera ||
Hurricanes during Litquake? Join us as we wrap up an action-packed day with an evening of wine and Rita Gardner’s well told tale at Book Passage in Corte Madera.
A father makes the fateful decision to leave a successful career in the US behind and move to an isolated beach in the Dominican Republic. He plants ten thousand coconut seedlings, transplants his wife and two young daughters to a small village, and declares they are the luckiest people alive. In reality, the family is in the path of hurricanes and in the grip of a brutal dictator, Rafael Trujillo—and the children are additionally under the thumb of an increasingly volatile and alcoholic father. Set against a backdrop of shimmering palms and kaleidoscope sunsets, The Coconut Latitudes is Rita Gardner’s compelling memoir of a childhood in paradise, a journey into unexpected misery, and a twisted path to redemption and truth.
“Like the best of writers, Gardner moves beyond borders into the wide open spaces of the heart.”
—JULIA ALVAREZ, author of A Wedding in Haiti
Rita Gardner grew up on her expatriate family’s coconut farm in the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Living in a remote coastal village, she was home-schooled and began reading, writing and painting at a young age. She returned to Florida to finish school and later moved to Northern California where she follows her passions – writing, trail hiking, traveling and photography. Her published essays, articles, and poems have appeared in literary journals, travel magazines, and newspapers. She has been awarded writing residencies at Hedgebrook (Washington) and Lit Camp (California.) She continues to dream in Spanish, dance the merengue, and gather inspiration from the ocean; her favorite color is Caribbean blue.