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Penguin Books

Before Night Falls: A Memoir

Before Night Falls: A Memoir

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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.

Author: Reinaldo Arenas
Publisher: Penguin Books
Published: 10/01/1994
Pages: 336
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.52lbs
Size: 7.76h x 5.09w x 0.70d
ISBN: 9780140157659

About the Author
Reinaldo Arenas was born in Cuba in 1943. In the 1970s, he was imprisoned multiple times for being gay, which clashed with the beliefs of the Communist regime. Despite the hardships imposed during his imprisonment, Arenas produced a significant body of work, including his Pentagonia, a set of five novels written between the 1960s and 1980s that comprise a secret history of post-revolutionary Cuba: Singing from the Well, Farewell to the Sea, Palace of the White Skunks, Color of Summer, and The Assault. In 1980, he was one of 120,000 Cubans who arrived in the United States on the Mariel boatlift. Arenas, ill with AIDS, committed suicide in 1990 shortly after completing Before Night Falls.

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