You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


Book Review

‘Traveling Heavy’ by Ruth Behar

So much of Ruth Behar’s life story resonates with me. My mother is Cuban, and to paraphrase Winston Churchill, I may be half Cuban and half American, but there are so many times I feel completely Cuban. When I finally went to Cuba last fall, it was like returning to a place to which I had never been. I am the Cubana that Ruth Behar describes in her fascinating new memoir, “Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in Between Journeys,’’ one that is part of an “intensely diasporic people.”

Behar was born in Cuba in 1957 and left the island as a small child. By any measure she is an American success story. With a PhD from Princeton University, Behar is a self-described anthropologist who “specializes in homesickness.” She’s also a MacArthur grantee and a chaired professor at the University of Michigan who has been recognized for her groundbreaking work in Spain and Mexico. Like me, she’s the offspring of the union of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish families.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week