February 6, 2012

Reclusive Fidel Castro attends his own book launch — and speaks for six hours


Fidel Castro shows his two-volume memoir to attendees at his book launch event in Havana

Fidel Castro made a rare public appearance last Friday in order to attend the launch party for his new book.

According to a Associated Press wire story, it was a real Fidel-Castro-kind-of event: everything about it was long. Castro ”spent six hours presenting the two-volume book,” and the book itself is over 1,000 pages — and it only covers his 30 or so years of his life.

The book, Guerrilla of Time, takes the form of an interview conducted by journalist Katiuska Blanco, and “covers Castro’s life from childhood until December 1958, the eve of the triumph of the Cuban revolution.”

According to a Daily Telegraph report, Castro was accompanied to the event at the Palace of Conventions in Havana by Abel Prieto, Cuba’s cultural minister, resident of the Union of Writers and Artists Miguel Barnet, and Blanco. It was the first time Castro has been seen in public since April of last year.

“I have to seize the opportunity now because my memory is spent,” he explained.


Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.