An insight into the brutal and beautiful life of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas, detailing his struggles with homosexuality, censorship and political tumult.
This poignant and shocking memoir by the Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas is a book about sexual, political and artistic freedom.
In Before Night Falls, Arenas recounts his journey from a poverty-stricken childhood in rural Cuba to his death in New York four decades later. He tells of his odyssey from young rebel fighting for the Revolution, through his suppression as a writer, his disillusionment with Castro, his imprisonment and torture, to his eventual flight from Cuba.
Now a feature film starring Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp, Before Night Falls is a stunning testament to an individual's urge to create against all odds.
About the Author
Reinaldo Arenas was born in Holguin, Cuba, in 1943. His first novel, Singing from the Well, was awarded First Mention in Cuba's Cirilo Villaverde National Competition. It was to be his only book published in his native country. Both as a homosexual and a writer, he found himself persecuted by the Cuban government, and had to smuggle his work out of the country for publication in France. He left Cuba in 1980 and settled in New York, where he died of AIDS in 1990. He is the author of over 20 books, including novels, short stories and poems.
One of the most shattering testimonials ever written on the subject of oppression and defiance -- Mario Vargas Llosa
Reading Arenas is like witnessing a bare consciousness in the process of assimilating the most universal, but powerful, human experiences and turning them into literature * The New York Times *
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
A document of a particular and disturbing honesty by one of the truly great writers to come out of Latin America * Chicago Tribune *
One of the most searing satirical writers of the 20th century, a worthy successor to Aristophanes and Swift -- Jaime Manrique * Village Voice *