Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy


Product Details

Free Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 0.8 inches | 0.6 pounds

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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. 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.


"The history of a conversion, from skeptic to believer....The Cuban identity sticks throughout, for Eire spikes his text with Spanish, but a spiritual quest overrides nationality....At this point, he transcends the crowded field of the Cuban American memoir subgenre and, quite effectively, transcends."
--The Miami Herald
..".Irreverent, deeply affecting....rich with smile-inducing pop-culture references and childhood pleasures. Eire loves Marilyn Monroe; models his speech after Andy Griffith and the Beverly Hillbillies; and revels in swimming pools, matinees, the public library, Halloween and, at long last, the mythical snow he finally experiences in Illinois....above all, a story of resilience."
--The Seattle Times
"[Eire] writes with both levity and wisdom about the tension between Carlos the Cuban and Charles the American, describing his process of maturing as 'learning to die'--or, more prosaically, to let go of worldly attachments such as his childhood memories of life in Cuba. With each move, unrequited schoolyard crush or achievement in his adopted language, he sheds a former self. Eventually he embraces this continual reinvention as itself something distinctly American."
--The Wall Street Journal
"[A] vivid, affecting memoir of survival and coming of age....An engrossing Cuban-American story that will leave readers wanting more."
--Kirkus Reviews
"Eire is a tremendously likable narrator, honest about the limitations of memory, always wearing his heart on his sleeve....those who remember the exuberant kid from Waiting for Snow in Havana...will be moved by the man he becomes."
--The New York Times Book Review