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Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy

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Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy Cover

ISBN13: 9781439181904
ISBN10: 143918190x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: None
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his 2003 National Book Award-winning memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana, Carlos Eire narrated his coming of age in Cuba just before and during the Castro revolution. That book literally ends in midair as eleven-year-old Carlos and his older brother leave Havana on an airplane — along with thousands of other children — to begin their new life in Miami in 1962. It would be years before he would see his mother again. He would never again see his beloved father.

Learning to Die in Miami opens as the plane lands and Carlos faces, with trepidation and excitement, his new life. He quickly realizes that in order for his new American self to emerge, his Cuban self must die. And so, with great enterprise and purpose, he begins his journey.

We follow Carlos as he adjusts to life in his new home. Faced with learning English, attending American schools, and an uncertain future, young Carlos confronts the age-old immigrant's plight: being surrounded by American bounty, but not able to partake right away. The abundance America has to offer excites him and, regardless of how grim his living situation becomes, he eagerly forges ahead with his own personal assimilation program, shedding the vestiges of his old life almost immediately, even changing his name to Charles. Cuba becomes a remote and vague idea in the back of his mind, something he used to know well, but now it had ceased to be part of the world.

But as Carlos comes to grips with his strange surroundings, he must also struggle with everyday issues of growing up. His constant movement between foster homes and the eventual realization that his parents are far away in Cuba bring on an acute awareness that his life has irrevocably changed. Flashing back and forth between past and future, we watch as Carlos balances the divide between his past and present homes and finds his way in this strange new world, one that seems to hold the exhilarating promise of infinite possibilities and one that he will eventually claim as his own.

An exorcism and an ode, Learning to Die in Miami is a celebration of renewal — of those times when we're certain we have died and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn.

Review:

"A stranger in a strange land, Eire (Waiting for Snow in Havana), one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Cuba in Operation Peter Pan in 1962, describes the classic American immigrant experience in Miami, Fla., with a mix of insightful observation, humor, and heartfelt emotion. With his older brother, Tony, the 11-year-old boy compares the Yankee environment, which he describes as 'so advanced and so wealthy,' to the oppressive 'Castrolandia and its fascination with Soviet backwardness.' Despite the absence of his biological parents and enduring uncaring foster homes, Eire conquers the English language, survives crass holiday consumerism, and excels at academia and the American dream. Easily one of the more impressive memoirs on the thorny issue of immigration, this book provides a winning formula for immigrants 'finding themselves at the bottom of the heap and knowing that they will climb their way back to the top, no matter what.' (Starred Review) (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Review:

"A very intelligent and sensitive bird's-eye view of a Cuban exile's boyhood experiences in America . . . eloquent and moving." Oscar Hijuelos

Review:

"This rich, engrossing memoir has the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez . . . a magical memory tour." People

Review:

"Eire is gifted with what might be called lyric precision — a knack for grasping the life of a moment through its sensuous particulars . . . .Vigorously written and alive." The Boston Globe

Review:

"An engrossing Cuban-American story that will leave readers wanting more." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"With the same passionate immediacy as Eire brought to his memoir of a Cuban boyhood...he writes now about coming to America at age 11.... This is about finding home in America by letting go." Booklist

Review:

"Eire shows how strong and deep are the personal impacts of emigration, yet he met his challenges head-on and succeeded. Readers...will appreciate Eire's journey and celebrate his accomplishments." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Following the National-Book-Award-winning Waiting for Snow in Havana, this is the ongoing memoir of exile and adolescent struggle in a new land.

Synopsis:

In his 2003 National Book Award-winning memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana, Carlos Eire narrated his coming of age in Cuba just before and during the Castro revolution. That book literally ends in midair as eleven-year-old Carlos and his older brother leave Havana on an airplane—along with thousands of other children—to begin their new life in Miami in 1962. It would be years before he would see his mother again. He would never again see his beloved father.

Learning to Die in Miami opens as the plane lands and Carlos faces, with trepidation and excitement, his new life. He quickly realizes that in order for his new American self to emerge, his Cuban self must "die." And so, with great enterprise and purpose, he begins his journey.

We follow Carlos as he adjusts to life in his new home. Faced with learning English, attending American schools, and an uncertain future, young Carlos confronts the age-old immigrant’s plight: being surrounded by American bounty, but not able to partake right away. The abundance America has to offer excites him and, regardless of how grim his living situation becomes, he eagerly forges ahead with his own personal assimilation program, shedding the vestiges of his old life almost immediately, even changing his name to Charles. Cuba becomes a remote and vague idea in the back of his mind, something he used to know well, but now it "had ceased to be part of the world."

But as Carlos comes to grips with his strange surroundings, he must also struggle with everyday issues of growing up. His constant movement between foster homes and the eventual realization that his parents are far away in Cuba bring on an acute awareness that his life has irrevocably changed. Flashing back and forth between past and future, we watch as Carlos balances the divide between his past and present homes and finds his way in this strange new world, one that seems to hold the exhilarating promise of infinite possibilities and one that he will eventually claim as his own.

An exorcism and an ode, Learning to Die in Miami is a celebration of renewal—of those times when we’re certain we have died and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn.

About the Author

Born in Havana in 1950, Carlos Eire 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 in Florida and Illinois, he was reunited with his mother in Chicago in 1965. His father, who died in 1976, never left Cuba. After earning his Ph.D. at Yale University in 1979, Carlos Eire taught at St. John's University in Minnesota for two years and at the University of Virginia for fifteen. He is now the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with his wife, Jane, and their three children.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781439181904
Subtitle:
Confessions of a Refugee Boy
Author:
Eire, Carlos
Author:
Eire, Carlos M. N.
Publisher:
Free Press
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Miami (fla.)
Subject:
Cuban Americans
Subject:
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20101102
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Americana » Southern States
History and Social Science » Latin America » Cuba

Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Free Press - English 9781439181904 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A stranger in a strange land, Eire (Waiting for Snow in Havana), one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Cuba in Operation Peter Pan in 1962, describes the classic American immigrant experience in Miami, Fla., with a mix of insightful observation, humor, and heartfelt emotion. With his older brother, Tony, the 11-year-old boy compares the Yankee environment, which he describes as 'so advanced and so wealthy,' to the oppressive 'Castrolandia and its fascination with Soviet backwardness.' Despite the absence of his biological parents and enduring uncaring foster homes, Eire conquers the English language, survives crass holiday consumerism, and excels at academia and the American dream. Easily one of the more impressive memoirs on the thorny issue of immigration, this book provides a winning formula for immigrants 'finding themselves at the bottom of the heap and knowing that they will climb their way back to the top, no matter what.' (Starred Review) (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Review" by , "A very intelligent and sensitive bird's-eye view of a Cuban exile's boyhood experiences in America . . . eloquent and moving."
"Review" by , "This rich, engrossing memoir has the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez . . . a magical memory tour."
"Review" by , "Eire is gifted with what might be called lyric precision — a knack for grasping the life of a moment through its sensuous particulars . . . .Vigorously written and alive."
"Review" by , "An engrossing Cuban-American story that will leave readers wanting more."
"Review" by , "With the same passionate immediacy as Eire brought to his memoir of a Cuban boyhood...he writes now about coming to America at age 11.... This is about finding home in America by letting go."
"Review" by , "Eire shows how strong and deep are the personal impacts of emigration, yet he met his challenges head-on and succeeded. Readers...will appreciate Eire's journey and celebrate his accomplishments."
"Synopsis" by , Following the National-Book-Award-winning Waiting for Snow in Havana, this is the ongoing memoir of exile and adolescent struggle in a new land.
"Synopsis" by , In his 2003 National Book Award-winning memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana, Carlos Eire narrated his coming of age in Cuba just before and during the Castro revolution. That book literally ends in midair as eleven-year-old Carlos and his older brother leave Havana on an airplane—along with thousands of other children—to begin their new life in Miami in 1962. It would be years before he would see his mother again. He would never again see his beloved father.

Learning to Die in Miami opens as the plane lands and Carlos faces, with trepidation and excitement, his new life. He quickly realizes that in order for his new American self to emerge, his Cuban self must "die." And so, with great enterprise and purpose, he begins his journey.

We follow Carlos as he adjusts to life in his new home. Faced with learning English, attending American schools, and an uncertain future, young Carlos confronts the age-old immigrant’s plight: being surrounded by American bounty, but not able to partake right away. The abundance America has to offer excites him and, regardless of how grim his living situation becomes, he eagerly forges ahead with his own personal assimilation program, shedding the vestiges of his old life almost immediately, even changing his name to Charles. Cuba becomes a remote and vague idea in the back of his mind, something he used to know well, but now it "had ceased to be part of the world."

But as Carlos comes to grips with his strange surroundings, he must also struggle with everyday issues of growing up. His constant movement between foster homes and the eventual realization that his parents are far away in Cuba bring on an acute awareness that his life has irrevocably changed. Flashing back and forth between past and future, we watch as Carlos balances the divide between his past and present homes and finds his way in this strange new world, one that seems to hold the exhilarating promise of infinite possibilities and one that he will eventually claim as his own.

An exorcism and an ode, Learning to Die in Miami is a celebration of renewal—of those times when we’re certain we have died and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn.

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