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Next Year in Cuba: A Cubano's Coming of Age in America
     

Next Year in Cuba: A Cubano's Coming of Age in America

by Gustavo Perez-Firmat, Gustavo Perez Firmat
 
Gustavo Perez Firmat arrived in America with his family at the age of eleven. Victims of Castro's revolution, the Perez family put their life on hold, waiting for Castro's fall. Each Christmas, along with other Cuban families in the neighborhood, they celebrated with the cry, "Next Year in Cuba."

Growing up in the Dade County school system and graduating from

Overview

Gustavo Perez Firmat arrived in America with his family at the age of eleven. Victims of Castro's revolution, the Perez family put their life on hold, waiting for Castro's fall. Each Christmas, along with other Cuban families in the neighborhood, they celebrated with the cry, "Next Year in Cuba."

Growing up in the Dade County school system and graduating from college in Florida, Perez Firmat was insulated from America by the nurturing sights and sounds of Little Havana. But gradually, as the Cuba of his birth receded farther into the past, he had become no longer wholly cubano, but increasingly a man of two heritages and two countries.

In a searing memoir of a family torn apart by exile, Perez Firmat chronicles the painful search for roots that has come to dominate his adult life. With one brother beset by personal problems and another embracing the very revolution that drove their family out of Cuba, Gustavo realized that the words "Next Year in Cuba" had, for him, taken on a hollow ring. Now, married to an American woman, and father to two children who are Cuban in name only, Perez Firmat has finally come to acknowledge his need to celebrate his love of Cuba, while embracing the America he has come to cherish.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Poet and professor Firmat explores his identity as a Cuban American whose family was exiled from their native land in the wake of Castro's revolution. (Sept.)
Library Journal
This is a touching, personal account of a young Cuban's departure from his native country and his assimilation of American culture and values, including marriage to an American, raising an American family, teaching at an American university, and, in general, accepting things American while longing for a greater knowledge of things Cuban and how his Cuban ancestry helped to define his American existence. Prez Firmat left Havana for Miami in 1960 at the age of 11, when the Castro regime seized his family's business and assets. He recounts his family's struggle to make ends meet, their desperate yearning to return to their homeland, and their despair at the failure of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. Exile became immigration, and Prez Firmat shows that the impact was not only personal but cultural, for the passing of a generation can dilute a culture to the point of eventual extinction. Recommended for academic and public libraries, especially for students of Latin American and cultural studies.-Philip Y. Blue, Dowling Coll. Lib., Oakdale, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385472975
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/01/1996
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.34(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.66(d)

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