×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

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

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

by 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.

"In [Next Year in Cuba] a member of the intermediate generation (born in Cuba but raised in this country) has finally decided to let outsiders in on some dark family secrets. The result is a serious work of literature—as well as a ripping good book."—The Washington Post Book World

"The author's engaging story-telling makes this charming memoir hard to put down."—Hispanic Magazine

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.
Janet St. John
Many of us (or our ancestors) immigrated to America in search of a better life. A new notion to some of us is that a percentage of Americans live here by default, with little" or no alternative. Firmat, a Cuban-born American, brings this issue clearly and sensitively to light as he traces the repercussions of his family's flight and exile from Cuba in the wake of Castro's takeover. Firmat recollects his childhood in Cuba and conveys his lifelong struggle to reconcile two national allegiances and, indeed, identities. With grace and intimacy, Firmat helps the unaware reader understand his circumstances and his equally passionate attachment to both places. Although the concept of living in America with the ever-present notion of returning to Cuba (hence the title) is a primary theme, Firmat discovers deep satisfaction and peace in his connections to family and heritage and his role as a university professor. It is this process of discovery, charted in the book's chapters, that engages the reader and makes Firmat's book revelatory, sincere, and tremendously absorbing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385472968
Publisher:
The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/01/1995
Edition description:
1st Anchor Books ed
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.00(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews