Friday, January 15, 2010

Waiting for Snow in Havana

I recently began reading the book, 'Waiting for Snow in Havana' by Carlos Eire, and it is such an interesting read. It's the kind of book you don't want to put down once you begin.

Waiting for Snow in Havana is an extraordinary memoir by a man whose boyhood was ravaged by the Cuban revolution. Reading the book is like being transported to Havana, although it's also very much about the universal experiences of loss and separation, and all the joys and cruelties of childhood.

Here's an excerpt:

And speaking of fictional characters, Popeye might have been the wisest of all time, for he knew instinctively what it has taken me a lifetime to realize. "I am what I am," or as Popeye puts it, "I yam what I yam."

I yam Cuban.

God-damned place where I was born, that God-damned place where everything I knew was destroyed. Wrecked in the name of fairness. In the name of progress. In the name of love for the gods Marx and Lenin.

Utterly wrecked.

I have pictures to prove it, from twenty years ago, when my mother went back to visit for one week, packing a Kodak Instamatic camera. Everything was already so thoroughly ruined by then as to be barely recognizable. The entire neighborhood went to ruin, just like ancient Rome, only more quickly and without the help of German barbarians. The entire city. The entire country, from end to end.

I think this is a book Americans need to read.

No comments: