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Family sentence : the search for my Cuban-revolutionary, prison-yard, mythic-hero, deadbeat dad

Author: Jeanine Cornillot
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Jeanine Cornillot was just two years old when her father, a former Cuban revolutionary turned anti-Castro militant, was sentenced to thirty years in a Florida prison for political bombings. Although he was physically absent throughout her childhood, his presence loomed large in her and her brothers imaginations. Keeping his incarceration secret outside the family, each child conjured a different father, yet all  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Jeanine Cornillot; Jeanine Cornillot; Jeanine Cornillot
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jeanine Cornillot
ISBN: 9780807000380 0807000388
OCLC Number: 313658009
Description: ix, 220 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: Five things I know --
Kids' guidebook to prison --
Open skies --
Shadow fathers --
Men are people too --
The Little Havana abductions --
Brothers big and small --
Spanish lesson --
Man in the house --
Good crimes --
The hunger letters --
Getting by --
I [love] Ponch --
Postcards from prison --
Free at last! --
Hard times, again --
The worst family reunion ever.
Responsibility: Jeanine Cornillot.

Abstract:

Jeanine Cornillot was just two years old when her father, a former Cuban revolutionary turned anti-Castro militant, was sentenced to thirty years in a Florida prison for political bombings. Although he was physically absent throughout her childhood, his presence loomed large in her and her brothers imaginations. Keeping his incarceration secret outside the family, each child conjured a different father, yet all believed in his mythic stature as a hero. Jeanines Irish-American mother struggled to support the family on her own in suburban Philadelphia and send her kids to a school where the nuns questioned her ability to raise four children without a father. Summers, she put Jeanine on a plane to Little Havana, where she lived with her Spanish-speaking grandparents and bilingual cousina sometimes unreliable translator. It was there in Florida that she met her father face to face, in the prison yards. As Cornillot travels between these two worlds, a wryly funny and unsentimental narrator emerges. Whether meeting her father for the first time at age six and hoping she looks Cuban enough, imagining herself a girl-revolutionary leading protest marches, dreamily planning her fathers homecoming after his prison break, or writing to demand an end to his forty-four-day hunger strike after hes recaptured, young Jeanine maintains a hopeful pragmatism that belies her age. Eventually, a childs mythology is replaced with an adults reality in a final reckoning with her father, remarkable for the unsparing honesty on both sides.

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