PERSONAL: Born in Cuba; immigrated to United States, c. 1960.
ADDRESSES: Home—Los Angeles, CA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Harcourt, 6277 Sea Harbor Dr., Orlando, FL 32887.
CAREER: Writer and art conservator.
(With Ofelia Fox) Tropicana Nights: The Life and Times of Havana's Legendary Nightclub, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2005.
Has written for Sculpture, ARTnews, and Latina magazines. Essay "Repairing Things" was published in Cuba in Mind.
SIDELIGHTS: Writer and art conservator Rosa Lowinger has written a book with Ofelia Fox about the Tropicana, a famous outdoor club that opened in suburban Havana, Cuba, in 1939. Lowinger had heard of the cabaret, but, having been a toddler when her family left Cuba in the early 1960s, only knew of it from the fond stories her parents told. When she visited the still-glamorous club as an adult, she was pleased to learn that the "First Lady of the Tropicana," Ofelia Fox, now lived near her, in Los Angeles, California. Several years of conversation between the two women were the basis for Tropicana Nights: The Life and Times of Havana's Legendary Nightclub, which is written from Lowinger's perspective. She tells of stunning architectural elements added in the 1950s and the celebrities that were seen on stage and off, including Nat King Cole, Celia Cruz, Xavier Cugat, Marlon Brando, and Ernest Hemingway. Another important figure is club owner Martin Fox, Ofelia's late husband, who had links to the mob. Images of the high life and corruption in pre-Revolutionary Cuba are heightened by corresponding arguments about politics between the two women, with Fox a Republican and Lowinger siding with progressives.
The book offers readers a rare glimpse into the Tropicana, according to reviewers. A Kirkus Reviews writer decided the work was "informative, although often overwhelming in scope." In a review for Publishers Weekly, another critic called Tropicana Nights a "scintillating chronicle … of the florid, splashy era" in Cuba's social history.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2005, review of Tropicana Nights: The Life and Times of Havana's Legendary Nightclub, p. 831.
Publishers Weekly, July 18, 2005, review of Tropicana Nights, p. 192.