Story by Yashowanto Ghosh, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of YouTube
Carlos Eire will read from his creative nonfiction at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10, in the Wege Ballroom at Aquinas College for the second event of the current season of Contemporary Writers Series.
Eire’s latest memoir, published in 2010, is Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy, a sequel to his earlier memoir, Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003. If you are interested in literature, this should be an evening you will enjoy.
Both memoirs are based upon Eire’s experiences around the Cuban Revolution, which interrupted his childhood as a son of a Cuban judge living in Miramar, Havana, and led to his and his older brother’s evacuation to Miami as part of Operation Peter Pan (and to their subsequent lives in the USA). If you are interested in political science, this will be your chance to meet a man who has experienced your subject first hand.
Eire’s mother tongue is Spanish and he learned English as a second language—first at school in Cuba, then as a refugee in the USA—and he writes in English. In Learning to Die in Miami, he includes his experience of becoming bilingual. If you are interested in languages, this reading will have something for you.
Like many writers, Eire has a day job: He is also T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University. In Learning to Die in Miami, he describes how he, when he was still in elementary school and living in a foster home in Coral Gables, decided to become a historian. Further in the book, he also describes how he, when he was in junior high and living with the family of an uncle in Bloomington, Illinois, had a mystical experience that led him to specialize in the history of Catholicism. He even narrates scenes from graduate school and his later life as a professor. If you are interested in history, theology, and/or catholic studies, this will be your chance to watch a distinguished scholar of your subject, and—depending upon which passages from his books he reads—you might even hear something about your subject at his reading.
Even if you are not into any of those things—literature, languages, political science, history, theology, catholic studies—even then, this will your chance to come see an event that should be interesting in that many different ways.
Also, this will be your last chance this semester to attend an event of the Contemporary Writers Series: The remaining readings this season will feature memoirist Mardi Jo Link on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, and poet Edward Hirsch on Thursday, April 14, 2016.
About the Writer…