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Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boyby Carlos Eire
Synopses & Reviews
A childhood in a privileged household in 1950s Havana is joyous and cruel, like any other — but with exotic differences. Lizards roam the house and grounds. Fights aren't waged with snowballs but with breadfruit. The narrator's father, a judge, is certain that in a past life he was Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. In a home crammed with portraits of Jesus that speak to him in dreams and nightmares, young Carlos Eire searches for secret proofs of the existence of God, determined to best St. Thomas Aquinas by coming up with more than five.
Then, in January 1959, the world changes: President Batista is suddenly gone, a cigar-smoking guerrilla — Fidel Castro — has taken his place, and Christmas is canceled. The echo of firing squads is everywhere. And, one by one, the author's schoolmates begin to disappear — spirited away to the United States. Carlos will end up there himself, alone, never to see his father again. The journey will test his soul.
Narrated with the urgency of a confession, Waiting for Snow in Havana is both an ode to a paradise lost and an exorcism. More than that, it captures the terrible beauty of those times in our lives when we are certain we have died — and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn.
"As imaginatively wrought as the finest piece of fiction." Publishers Weekly
"Between mercurial and leisurely, lush and thorny, jumbled and crystalline, Yale historian Eire's recollection of his Cuban boyhood is to be savored." Kirkus Reviews
"What is powerful and lasting about the book is his evocation of childhood...and his extraordinary literary ability." The Los Angeles Times
"Eire's tone is so urgent and so vividly personal...that his unsparing indictments of practically everyone concerned, including himself, seem all the more remarkable." New Yorker
"[C]omplex, introspective....In this open, honest, and at times angry memoir, Eire bares his soul completely and captivates the reader in the process." Booklist
National Book Award-winning memoir of exile from a tangerine-colored paradise: “Eire has done a splendid job….Masterfully written, bursting with wonderful details and images and populated by characters so well described that they seem to be sitting next to you on the couch” ( The Washington Post ).
This haunting memoir of the Cuban Revolution, seen through the eyes of a small boy, is the heartbreaking story of the author's privileged childhood in pre-Revolution Havana, and how he lost everything, including his father.
About the Author
Carlos Eire was born in Havana in 1950 and left his homeland in 1962, one of fourteen thousand unaccompanied children airlifted out of Cuba by Operation Pedro Pan. After living in a series of foster homes, he was reunited with his mother in Chicago in 1965.andnbsp;Eire earned his PhD at Yale University in 1979 and is now the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with his wife, Jane, and their three children.andnbsp;
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