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

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. It wasn't until he left home to attend ...
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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. It wasn't until he left home to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan that he realized, 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.

A victim of Castro's revolution, Gustavo Perez Firmat arrived in America at the age of 11. Growing up in the Dade County school system, and graduating from college in Florida, Gustavo was insulated from America by the nurturing sights and sounds of Little Havana. In a searing memoir, he chronicles the painful struggle of dealing with two heritages and two countries.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558854611
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 213
  • Sales rank: 989,440
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: Born in Cuba, Made in the U.S.A. 1
Part 1 Waving Good-Bye
1 The Past Is a Foreign Country 17
2 A Crash Course in Americana 47
3 Mooning over Miami 63
Part 2 Family Ties
4 On the Corner of Paula and San Ignacio 95
5 Domino Theory, Canasta Klatch 125
6 The Ghosts of Nochebuenas Past 155
7 Billita, Who Am I? 171
Part 3 Discovering America
8 The Gusano as Bookworm 191
9 Love in a Foreign Language 211
10 Ricky Ricardo with a Ph.D. 227
11 Earth to Papi, Earth to Papi 243
Epilogue: This Must Be the Place 267
Postscript 2000: Que Pasa USA? 275
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2006

    Excellent!

    I can really relate to this book because I was born in Cuba and now reside in Miami. I've indulged both heritages, but keep My cuba close to heart. I was/am raised in dade county as well. :D Lovely book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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