The Autobiography of Fidel Castro

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9780393068993: The Autobiography of Fidel Castro
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Prize-winning author and journalist Norberto Fuentes was once a revolutionary: a writer with privileged access to Fidel Castro's inner circle during some the most challenging years of the revolution. But in the late 1990s, as the regime began sending its oldest comrades to the firing squad, he became A Man Who Knew Too Much. Escaping a death sentence and now living in exile, Fuentes has written a brilliant, satirical, and utterly captivating "autobiography" of the Cuban leader-in Fidel's own arrogant and seductive language-discussing everything from Castro's early sexual experiences in Biran to his true feelings about Che Guevara and his philosophy on murder, legacy, and state secrets. Critics have long admired Fuentes's writing; one U.S. article called him "Norman Mailer's Cuban pen pal." Akin to Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, or Edmund Morris's Dutch, this wickedly entertaining, true-to-life masterpiece is as imaginative and outsized as Castro himself.

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Review:

"What makes this account particularly appealing is Castro's (or Fuentes') version of critical events and his relations with and feelings concerning historical figures. ... Of course, this isn't history, but it is enjoyable, interesting, and probably as accurate a portrait as we are likely to get." -- Jay Freeman - Booklist

From the Back Cover:

Praise for The Autobiography of Fidel Castro...

“Ambitiously brazen in its mythic reinvention of such a major icon, this book is also an enormously readable and entertaining literary achievement of a high order.” —William Kennedy

“The best revenge is writing well, and by writing the comandante’s autobiography for him, Norberto Fuentes is having his sweet revenge on Fidel. It’s a brilliant, funny, ultimately deeply moving novel, an unforgettable portrait of Fidel and at the same time an historically important first-person account of the Cuban Revolution and its aftermath.” —Russell Banks

...and for Norberto Fuentes

“Fuentes dug through the embers of Hemingway’s life at Finca Vigía and discovered traces of his heart...a man troubled by the uncertainty and brevity of life, who was able to decipher, as few have done in human history, the practical mysteries of the most solitary occupation in the world.”—Gabriel García Márquez, on Hemingway in Cuba

“Fuentes is a great writer and a Cuban national treasure.”—Daniel Patrick Moynihan

“Norberto Fuentes...immediately found the tone that distinguishes the writers who have recently emerged from civil wars at all latitudes—that is to say, the few real writers —who do not seek to create celebrations or evocations of sentiment or pedagogical displays: a posture of fierce happiness, of brutal truculence, of cunning and anti-heroic realism, full of the ruthless irony that arises naturally when one lives in the continuous presence of death.” —Italo Calvino, on The Condemned of Condado|Praise for The Autobiography of Fidel Castro...“Ambitiously brazen in its mythic reinvention of such a major icon, this book is also an enormously readable and entertaining literary achievement of a high order.” —William Kennedy“The best revenge is writing well, and by writing the comandante’s autobiography for him, Norberto Fuentes is having his sweet revenge on Fidel. It’s a brilliant, funny, ultimately deeply moving novel, an unforgettable portrait of Fidel and at the same time an historically important first-person account of the Cuban Revolution and its aftermath.” —Russell Banks...and for Norberto Fuentes“Fuentes dug through the embers of Hemingway’s life at Finca Vigía and discovered traces of his heart...a man troubled by the uncertainty and brevity of life, who was able to decipher, as few have done in human history, the practical mysteries of the most solitary occupation in the world.”—Gabriel García Márquez, on Hemingway in Cuba“Fuentes is a great writer and a Cuban national treasure.”—Daniel Patrick Moynihan“Norberto Fuentes...immediately found the tone that distinguishes the writers who have recently emerged from civil wars at all latitudes—that is to say, the few real writers —who do not seek to create celebrations or evocations of sentiment or pedagogical displays: a posture of fierce happiness, of brutal truculence, of cunning and anti-heroic realism, full of the ruthless irony that arises naturally when one lives in the continuous presence of death.” —Italo Calvino, on The Condemned of Condado

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Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011
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