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Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles Paperback – June 1, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In her debut collection, Milanés tells varied, often heartbreaking tales of Cuban-American exiles. With young Carmen, Milanés introduces readers to the community's exodus, the 1980 Mariel boatlift, when Castro reluctantly let 10,000 Cubans leave the country. Carmen's simple but eye-opening story features a radio broadcast cataloguing the difficulties those marielitos have since faced in the U.S. In this emotional tour through the semiconnected lives of these immigrants, and the rafters who came after (the balseros), hardworking dishwasher Juan loses the job he loves, becomes homeless and discovers unexpected opportunity; his abrupt fate turns up in a later story about José Vidal, a dangerous marielito who's lost his mind. For her family, Damarys has clawed her way to freedom and success by whatever means necessary; in his own story, her brother Fito refuses to take part in his beloved sister's illegitimate schemes. Complex and woeful, Milanés's rich ensemble act may remind readers of Junot Diaz's Drown and Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son. (May)
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About the Author

Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes is a professor of Latino/a literature and writing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Her short fiction has been anthologized in Iguana Dreams: New Latino Fiction (HarperCollins), Did My Mama Like to Dance? and Other Stories about Mothers and Daughters (Avon) and in New World: Young Latino Writers (Bantam).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Ig Publishing (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981504027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981504025
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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Literature is my favorite way to learn about other cultures and other people. This book is a sharply observed, very well written collection of short stories that served to "humanize" what was for me only a large abstraction--the Mariel boat lift. I was amazed at the variety of people who ended up in America as a result of these events--remembering media coverage that talked only of Castro emptying his jails and asylums. I learned about the language, customs, rituals, triumphs and struggles of these exiles. I finished the book wanting to learn more about Cuba and its people--both those who came to the U.S. and those who remain on the island.
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A period in history that many Americans know nothing about.
These stories create a picture of reality that inspires and give
hope to any of us who have overcome the obstacles of oppression
and ignorance.
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Format: Paperback
True to life, moving, made me feel I knew each of the characters... their struggles and triumphs. I could not stop reading each of the stories once I began. SUPER BUENO!!
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Feels like these characters are living, breathing people.
The language is direct, genuine and engaging.

Looking forward to more work by this author.
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I'm writing about the Mariel Boatlift, and this collection of stories offers an intimate view of the variety of exlies.
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