As many of you know, when I set out to publish my Vanishing Cuba book, my objective was to create something exceptional and not just another book.
I would soon find out if my seven years of photography and two years of writing, design, and production were about to deliver on that promise.
With the arrival of the first few samples of my book, I boarded a flight to Miami for Art Basel, where the Reserve Edition of my book would be showcased for the very first time. But my real interest would be a very special meeting we had set up months earlier.
The meeting would take place at Miami’s premier bookstore, Books & Books. Specifically, their flagship store in Coral Gables, just a stone’s throw away from Miami’s famous Little Havana and Hialeah and home to 1.2 million Cuban Americans. The store’s unique layout encircles a wonderful outdoor cafe. Inside, there are rooms and rooms of books, including a showroom dedicated to Assouline handcrafted luxury photo books, not to mention a very nice collection of books on Cuba. Books & Books has seven locations throughout the Miami area.
At the request of the store’s head buyer, I would meet with Christina Nosti, Director of Events at Books & Books, who I would later find out is Cuban-American. After a brief introduction, Christina’s first words were, “So, show me the book!”
After running her fingers across the cover of the book, in what appeared to be a sign of approval, she opened the book and slowly began to turn the pages. There was silence. As she turned more and more pages, she said in one sentence, what I had been hoping to hear, “I’ve seen a lot of books on Cuba, but I’ve never seen a book quite like this. This is beautiful! Is this all your photography?”
I answered her with a big smile, a sigh of relief, and validation that we truly created something special. As we talked more about the book, I could further sense her excitement. As our meeting drew to a close, she asked if I could leave my only copies of the Silver Edition and the Deluxe Edition so the store could showcase them for pre-orders. I knew then that she was not just being complimentary. She was very excited about the book.
If you are in Miami, you can find the Silver Edition at the Coral Gables store and the Deluxe Edition at the Bal Harbour store.
As the book lands in more people’s laps over the next few weeks and months, it’s my hope that everyone will have the same impression as Christina. Thank you all for your patience and support.
The Books & Books flagship bookstore in Coral Gables, Miami, Florida.
Vanishing Cuba books (Silver Edition and Deluxe Edition) are being reviewed at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Miami, Florida.
The first-ever Vanishing Cuba books are being registered into the bookstore’s inventory. The Silver Edition is in the foreground, and the Deluxe Edition is standing at Books & Books, Miami, Florida.
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Cuba – the Caribbean island, is surely one of the most photographed places in the world. The light, the colours, the people, and the life on the streets: each moment seems to offer a perfect opportunity for a picture. One photographer who has explored Cuba repeatedly, through the perspective of his camera, is the American Michael Chinnici. His gorgeous photo book draws on the wealth of stories, experiences and encounters he has gathered during more than twenty trips in recent years. There is no doubt that the New York-based photographer has been successful in his efforts to capture the “soul of Cuba” in pictures.
Wow!!! Thank you, Melanie Chapman, for writing such a wonderful review of my Vanishing Cuba book! And to quote the poet John Dunne… “The poet John Dunne wrote “No man is an island…”. Spend time experiencing Cuba through Chinnici’s insightful eyes, and you may be tempted to reply “…and no island is one man.”
What an honor to have my first published book reside in the University of Cambridge Library in the United Kingdom. Many of you probably don’t know this, but this prestigious University (considered one of the top ten in the world) has over 100 libraries within its library system. Vanishing Cuba can be found in its Latin Studies Library.