Learning to Die in Miami

Last night, I had both the honor and privilege of meeting Professor Carlos Eire, author of Waiting for Snow in Havana, and most recently, Learning to Die in Miami. I am embarrassed to say that I had not read, or even purchased, Waiting for Snow, and I went to the book reading/signing without hesitation. I knew that not only would I be purchasing both of Carlos’s books, I would stand in line and introduce myself and chat with him.
Fortunately, because my uncle and my fellow Babalusians Alberto and George know and are friends with Carlos, he knew who I was. After standing in line for about an hour and a half, I had four books autographed: one for Marta, who begged and pleaded, and almost sold me her firstborn (Sorry, Amy Kikita, she wouldn’t do it, but it would have gotten you here to Miami!) for a book. I also got one for my mom, who wanted to attend but was unable to. And, of course, two books for me: Waiting for Snow and Learning to Die.
As an added bonus, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, author of The Red Umbrella and my Facebook amiguita, introduced Carlos at the event. I also was overdue on my purchase of The Red Umbrella, and thankfully Christina was able to autograph her book as well.
The talk was inspiring, and very emotional. The space was packed with people, all seats were taken and several people were standing along the sides and back of the room. Carlos is a wonderful orator and storyteller. He spoke for about an hour and took questions for an additional half-hour, and we all could have heard him speak for three hours more.
Many in the audience were also exiles from Operacion Pedro Pan. It was both a sad and beautiful thing to witness them reliving their own memories as Carlos read a few passages from his book.
It was a pleasure to spend the evening surrounded by Cubanness, and to meet Carlos (and of course see Christina again!).

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