Learning to Die in Miami

  • by Carlos Eire
  • Narrated by Robert Fass
  • 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Carlos Eire's story of a boyhood uprooted by the Cuban Revolution quickly lures us in, as 11-year-old Carlos and his older brother, Tony, touch down in the sun-dappled Miami of 1962 - a place of daunting abundance where his old Cuban self must die to make way for a new, American self waiting to be born.
In this enchanting new work, narrated in Eire's inimitable and lyrical voice, young Carlos adjusts to life in his new country. He lives for a time in a Dickensian foster home, struggles to learn English, attends American schools, and confronts the age-old immigrant's plight: surrounded by the bounty of this rich land yet unable to partake. Carlos must learn to balance the divide between his past and present lives and find his way in this strange new world of gas stations, vending machines, and sprinkler systems.
Every bit as poignant, bittersweet, and humorous as his first memoir, Learning to Die in Miami is a moving personal saga, an elegy for a lost childhood and a vanished country, and a celebration of the spirit of renewal that America represents.


What the Critics Say

"Eire...describes the classic American immigrant experience...with a mix of insightful observation, humor, and heartfelt emotion." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Would you consider the audio edition of Learning to Die in Miami to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version. Cannot opine.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Carlos. He told his story which was almost my story and the story of most kids who were sent by our parents to the US at the beginning of the Revolution.

Which scene was your favorite?

When they went to the Country Club in Miami. As a child I also went to that club and it brought back many many memories.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. It made me both laugh and cry. It reminded us of the great sacrifice our parents made for us and it also made me thankful that they did.

Any additional comments?

I can't wait till Carlos writes another book. He is a great story teller.

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- Terry

Excellent memoir of a forgotten time in history

My book club read this book, thinking we would be familiar with the topic since we live in south Florida and have many friends and coworkers with Cuban roots, but this memoir told a different story than anything we had heard before. Sure, we had heard of the "Pedro Pan" airlift which "saved" lots of kids from Castro's Cuba, but this first-person account was nothing like the glib news releases we had heard years ago. The author tells about his experience as one of over 14,000 children, mostly boys, who were flown to Miami from Cuba between 1960 and 1962. Each was told that their parents would be following shortly afterwards, but in most cases, this was not possible. These kids relied on the kindness of distant relatives in the U.S., former friends or neighbors of their parents, and in one compelling part of this story, an unrelated Jewish family who could relate to losing one's home country. A loose network of social workers, foster parents, and church officials oversaw the welfare of the kids until the parents were able to join them some years later. Carlos Eire tells what it was like to be one of these children. He was 11 when he and his brother arrived in Miami, and this book describes his experience as he travels from one temporary home to another, trying to assimilate and make his way in this new world without much help from anyone. It is funny and sad, and a very honest account of how a preteen boy struggles into adulthood under these conditions. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Eire is a wonderful writer and Fass does a great job as narrator.
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- FL Grandmom

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-04-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio