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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,491 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carlos Eire Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A childhood in a privileged household in 1950s Havana was joyous and cruel, like any other—but with certain differences. The neighbor’s monkey was liable to escape and run across your roof, surfing was conducted by driving cars across the breakwater, and lizards and firecrackers made frequent contact.

Carlos Eire’s childhood was a little different from most. His father was convinced he had been Louis XVI in a past life. At school, classmates with fathers in the Batista government were attended by chauffeurs and bodyguards. At a home crammed with artifacts and paintings, portraits of Jesus spoke to him in dreams and nightmares.

Then, in January, 1959, the world changes: Batista is suddenly gone, a cigar-smoking guerrilla has taken his place, and Christmas is cancelled. The echo of firing squads is everywhere, and, one by one, the author’s schoolmates begin to disappear—spirited away to the United States. Carlos will end up there himself, without his parents, never to see his father again.

Narrated with the urgency of a confession, Waiting for Snow in Havana is both an ode to a paradise lost and an exorcism. More than that, it captures the terrible beauty of those times when we are certain we have died—and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marilyn | 1/22/2014

    " He talks about his childhood memories - sealed in a different time and place. It is about dislocation of immigration, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mar | 1/6/2014

    " The author looks back on his carefree days of growing up in Cuba in the 50's. Everything changes when Castro takes over in the early 60's. Along with 14,000 other children, Carlos and his brother are put on a plane and airlifted to America. This is a very smart, well-written piece about Cuba's history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kati | 12/30/2013

    " Eire recounts his childhood in Cuba and his intense feelings of loss of his homeland, father and friends. His imagery is amazing and draws the reader into pre- and post-Castro Cuba. He makes interesting asides with "What would Kant think?" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sophia | 12/27/2013

    " A beautiful writer - yes. But is Carlos Eire a story-teller? I don't think so! "

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About the Author

Carlos Eire, born in Havana in 1950, left his homeland in 1962. He was one of 14,000 unaccompanied children airlifted out of Cuba by Operation Pedro Pan. After living in a series of foster homes in Florida and Illinois, he was reunited with his mother in Chicago in 1965. His father, who died in 1976, never left Cuba. After earning his PhD at Yale University in 1979, Eire taught at St. John’s University in Minnesota for two years and at the University of Virginia for fifteen. He is now the T. Lawrason Riggs professor of history and religious studies at Yale University. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with his wife and their three children.