Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy

Carlos Eire, Free Press, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4391-8190-4
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." (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/23/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 579 pages - 978-1-4104-3495-1
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