Anna Lidia is an incredible storyteller, the fact she is capable of telling the story on anything is incredible, no matter how simple or minute the topic may be. When she was asked about her creative process, she told our group that a lot of her inspiration comes from the little things that occur in our daily lives, and she’s always finding new things to write about. In fact, during the time she was at Davidson, she was already working on a list containing bits and bobs of unformulated ideas that she could potentially write about in the future. I noticed that Serova focused on the small and mundane things in her writing, I especially saw this in Serova’s Mirada de Reojo, which contained several stories on random objects that one would find in their house.
In the conversation that we had with Serova, someone asked her about her journey to the United States from Cuba, she said some things that have been going through my mind. It surprised me (and simultaneously didn’t surprise me) to hear how complicated it is for a Cuban person to acquire a visa to visit the United States. Simply because Serova is from Cuba, the United States defined her as an enemy to the state because of what happened 50 years ago. Serova didn’t do anything wrong; nonetheless, the United States labeled her as a threat because of where she was from. Due to the problems and delays that arose, her trip was pushed back; rather than coming to Davidson on the originally planned April date, she came in September instead.
The conversation then led to us talking about United States-Cuban relations and her perspective on the situation as it is. What Serova had to say regarding the United States and Cuba allowed me to understand a Cuban’s perspective, something that I’ve always wanted to know. One of the key things that she told us is that unless the United States doesn’t change its visa policy for Cubans, she doesn’t want to go back––she doesn’t expect to go back anytime soon.
From all that we talked about, I would say that my biggest take-away from the conversation was how on many occasions, Serova would––unintentionally––act as a representative of a group of people because she was not considered to be like everyone else. She noticed this often because when she was In Russia, she’s seen as Cuban; and in Cuba, she’s known as Russian. Even though she’s both Cuban and Russian, she couldn’t fully be one or the other.