A Better Homeland by Bernardo Aparicio García

A Better Homeland

Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy
by Carlos Eire
Free Press, 2010
(320 pages, $26.00, hardcover)

reviewed by Bernardo Aparicio García

Carlos Eire thinks you should learn to die, and die often. Or maybe I mean Carlos Nieto. Or Chuck Neat-o. Or Carlos M. N. Eire, Ph.D. Or just plain Charlie. If one is to judge by the many names he has lived under, all the identities taken up and cast away, it is really no wonder he thinks so, whatever his name. In his most recent memoir, Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy, Eire shares the story of what happened after his first “death,” when he left behind a privileged childhood in Havana to arrive in Miami as an eleven-year-old boy with nothing but two changes of clothes and a book that “scared [him] half to death,” The Imitation of Christ.

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Bernardo Aparicio García has published short stories and essays in the St. Austin Review and the Catholic literary journal Dappled Things, of which he is founder and publisher. He is also a teacher at the Washington International School in Washington, D.C.

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