Carlos Eire was born in Havana in 1950 and left his homeland in 1962, one of fourteen thousand unaccompanied children airlifted out of Cuba by Operation Pedro Pan. After living in a series of foster homes, he was reunited with his mother in Chicago in 1965. Eire earned his PhD at Yale University in 1979 and is now the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with his wife, Jane, and their three children.
In December 1992 Orestes Lorenzo undertook the most daring journey of his life. More than a year earlier, while a major in the Cuban Air Force, he had escaped from Cuba by flying a MiG to the United States, and for twenty-one frantic months had been trying to get permission for his wife, Vicky, and their two sons to join him. When all his attempts to gain their freedom failed, Orestes decided to go back and rescue his family himself. Meanwhile, Vicky had been undergoing a terrifying ordeal back in Cuba, where the authorities were pressuring her to denounce her husband as a traitor. They informed her that she would never be allowed to leave, and that Raul Castro himself had declared: "If Lorenzo had the guts to leave with one of my MiGs, maybe he has the guts to come back and get his family." Desperate, Orestes Lorenzo did just that, flying an old twin-engine Cessna across the straits of Florida, avoiding Cuban radar, and landing on a busy highway in a breathtaking rescue.
Wings of Morning is Lorenzo's account of this astonishing feat, but it is also the unforgettable odyssey of a young man growing up during the euphoria of the Cuban Revolution, marrying his sweetheart, and going off to train as a fighter pilot in the Soviet Union. Lorenzo movingly describes his growing disillusionment with communism, his religious awakening amidst the revelations of Perestroika, and the near-death of his beloved Vicky, as well as his increasing conviction that he must not let his children grow up in a country that denies any dignity or spiritual values in the individual, in the family, and to society.
I had a ton of things to tell him. I wanted him to find a solution to all the shortages of clothes; of meat, so it would again be distributed through the ration books.
I also wanted to ask him to give our Christmas back. And to come live with us. I wanted to let him know how much we really needed him...
Fidel didn't answer my letter. I kept writing him letters from a sweet and well-behaved child, a brave but sad girl. Letters resembling those of a secret, spurned lover...
As a girl growing up in Cuba, Alina Fernandez found nothing abnormal in the fact that Fidel Castro would occasionally visit her house bearing gifts just for her. At the age of ten, her mother finally told her the truth: she was Castro's Daughter.
Unfortunately, Mishna didn't quite fit in with the neighborhood kids: she couldn't dance, she couldn't sing, she couldn't double dutch and she was the worst player on her all-black basketball team. She was shy, uncool and painfully white. And yet when she was suddenly sent to a rich white school, she found she was too "black" to fit in with her white classmates.
I'm Down is a hip, hysterical and at the same time beautiful memoir that will have you howling with laughter, recommending it to friends and questioning what it means to be black and white in America.
In A Very Brief History of Eternity, Carlos Eire, the historian and National Book Award-winning author of Waiting for Snow in Havana, has written a brilliant history of eternity in Western culture. Tracing the idea from ancient times to the present, Eire examines the rise and fall of five different conceptions of eternity, exploring how they developed and how they have helped shape individual and collective self-understanding.
A book about lived beliefs and their relationship to social and political realities, A Very Brief History of Eternity is also about unbelief, and the tangled and often rancorous relation between faith and reason. Its subject is the largest subject of all, one that has taxed minds great and small for centuries, and will forever be of human interest, intellectually, spiritually, and viscerally.