Born in October 1955 in Cienfuegos, Cuba, in the barrio traditionally known as Glorytown, the first child of a truck driver and a homemaker, Eduardo Calcines was very young at the time of Fidel Castro’s abrupt governmental takeover. Soon, Communism dug its roots deep into the island nation. Dissidents’ imprisonment and death at the hands of the new totalitarian government became commonplace. Calcines was profoundly scarred by the uncontrollable conditions brought upon him and his entire family, some of whom were dissidents themselves. From an early age, he rebelled against the oppression and injustice wielded by Castro’s government. His childhood became a mix of real-world turmoil and a fantasy life that he created for himself on the roof of his grandparents’ home—a rooftop escape underneath the branches of their avocado tree, high above the roosters and chickens, and the worries of daily life.
In 1969, at age fourteen, Calcines, along with his father, mother, and sister, finally escaped Castro’s “gulag” for a better life in the United States. After a five-year stay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Calcines family moved south to Tampa, Florida, where Calcines currently resides with his own family. A successful businessman for over thirty years, Calcines finally decided to tell the story of his childhood in Communist Cuba with his gripping memoir Leaving Glorytown: One Boy’s Struggle Under Castro. His humorous and enthralling storytelling ability breathes life into the characters and anecdotes that shaped his childhood experiences. This same storytelling ability will lead to follow-up books. One is about coming of age as an immigrant in a new culture. A second is about becoming an adult, dealing with the pain of leaving his family, and coming to terms with his blinding hatred of Castro.
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Click here to watch an inteview with Leaving Glorytown author Eduardo F. Calcines
Eduardo F. Calcines was a child of Fidel Castro’s Cuba; he was just three years old when Castro came to power in January 1959. After that, everything changed...