“Any attempt to reckon with Cuba’s torturous twentieth century will have to take into account Arenas’s monumental work … an essential human testimony, joyful and enraged, a triumph of conscience.” – Garth Greenwell
The acclaimed memoir of queer Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas chronicling his tumultuous yet luminary life, from his impoverished upbringing in Cuba to his imprisonment at the hands of a Communist regime
The astonishing memoir by visionary Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas “is a book above all about being free,” said The New York Review of Books–sexually, politically, artistically. Arenas recounts a stunning odyssey from his poverty-stricken childhood in rural Cuba and his adolescence as a rebel fighting for Castro, through his supression as a writer, imprisonment as a homosexual, his flight from Cuba via the Mariel boat lift, and his subsequent life and the events leading to his death in New York. In what The Miami Herald calls his “deathbed ode to eroticism,” Arenas breaks through the code of secrecy and silence that protects the privileged in a state where homosexuality is a political crime. Recorded in simple, straightforward prose, this is the true story of the Kafkaesque life and world re-created in the author’s acclaimed novels.