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This Miami Life

Confessions Of A Refugee Boy

Learning to Die in Miami is author Carlos Eire’s follow-up to his 2003 memoir, Waiting for Snow in Havana. In his first book, Eire wrote about his childhood in Cuba before and during the Castro revolution. Learning to Die in Miami tells the story of his arrival in the United States as part of Operation Pedro Pan – a program that helped more than 14,000 Cuban children flee the island during the revolution.

Under the Sun’s Dan Grech and Alicia Zuckerman talk with the author about his experiences as a young immigrant. Eire, who was just 11 years old when he arrived in the United States, shares the difficulties he faced – from adjusting to life in Miami, learning to adapt to American traditions and missing his mother and father. Listen to the interview to hear why he considers exile a gift.

Eire is a history professor at Yale University, specializing in the history of death. His book, Waiting for Snow in Havana, won the 2003 National Book Award. Learning to Die in Miami will be released in paperback this summer and has been optioned for a feature film.

Special thanks to Marcy Rosenbaum, Paul Leary and Esther Martinez for their help with the interview. The music at the end of the interview is courtesy of Escaleno. The song Poema sin Palabras (Poem without Words) is from their new CD, Dance of the Nomads. You can find out more about this Miami-based trio on their website.