David Rieff, author of "Los Angeles: Capital of the Third World", provides a personal and anecdotal examination of the phenomenon of Cuban exiles in south Florida, and their bittersweet experience of being torn between the imagined Eden of their home and their success in America. Exiled since the rise of Castro in 1959, in a foreign city less than ...
David Rieff, author of "Los Angeles: Capital of the Third World", provides a personal and anecdotal examination of the phenomenon of Cuban exiles in south Florida, and their bittersweet experience of being torn between the imagined Eden of their home and their success in America. Exiled since the rise of Castro in 1959, in a foreign city less than 200 miles from their home, but unable to resist America's still-overwhelming attraction, they have transformed Miami from a tourist town to the paradigm of the 21st-century American metropolis.
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Publishers Weekly, 1993-06-21 In this sensitive and engrossing discourse, Rieff ( Going to Miami ) describes the 33-year-long exile in Miami which many Cubans are beginning to recognize may actually be immigration. For these Cubans, Havana is still the center of the world, but their nostalgia is for the spiritual capital of la Cuba de ayer , that sophisticated, chic, intellectual, artistic and, most importantly, pre-Castro city they now mythologize and try to reconstitute in the streets of Miami. Though cleaving fiercely to their Cuban origins and constantly dreaming of return, many have become more American than they realize, and there is now a second generation whose native home is Miami, observes the author. Rieff accompanied one couple on a brief visit to Havana, and he describes their surprise on finding that they had become Americans after all. ``We Cubans have become a different people in America,'' says the wife, ``and what I learned during our trip to Cuba is that they have become different down there too . . . the truth is that we are never going back.'' While his subject is the Cubans in Miami, Rieff uses the differences between their migration and that of other immigrants--particularly the Jewish diaspora--to give striking insights into the common pain of all exiles. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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