Description"Before Night Falls" is Reinaldo Arenas's stunning autobiography - a bold and unrestrained account of his life as a writer and a homosexual. Arenas, acknowledged as one of the great 20th-century Cuban writers, was born in 1943 into a poor, rural Cuban family. At the age of 15, he joined Castro's guerrillas against Batista's right-wing regime, only to discover that repression under Castro would be on a monumental scale. Reinaldo Arenas spent 20 years of his life trying to survive his "re-education, " to safeguard his manuscripts, and to maintain his sanity when he was imprisoned in El Morro prison in Havana. But despite everything that happened to him, including betrayal by his aunt and some of his closest "friends, " Arenas triumphed, finally leaving Cuba during the Mariel exodus in 1980. But America could never replace his beloved Cuba, and his anti-Castro stance made him unsympathetic to many American intellectuals. The final irony was his battle with AIDS, which dominated the last years of his life until he committed suicide on December 7, 1990, at the age of 47. "Before Night Falls" was begun before Arenas left Cuba and was completed in the last stage of the disease. It is an extraordinary document - a compelling and moving account of the hell that Arenas experienced in Cuba and the purgatory he endured in the U.S. It is a book both raw and fierce, tender and lyrical, particularly about the Cuban landscape. In it you will discover a man of enormous vitality, resilience, and courage.
Arenas writes of his own book, "I tell my truth like a Jew who has suffered from racism, a Russian who has been in the Gulag, or any human being who has eyes to see things as they are: I cry out:therefore I am."
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