Before Night Falls – Reinaldo Arenas

Before Night Falls was a book that I wanted to read for a long time but put it off because I feared it would hurt me so much. Although I was not as hurt as I thought when I finally finished the book, I resented the way the world works over and over again.


Before Night Falls is the most famous memoir by Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas. The author explains his experiences from childhood until his death in a simple language. Still, he manages to create the feeling of being in front of you while reading the book. Even though Arenas’ language is simple, I thought that I am glad that he is not in front of me since his experiences are quite terrible.

Before Night Falls

Arenas spent his childhood in Batista’s era and most of his adulthood under Castro. As I read about the author’s memories of his childhood, I was shocked and didn’t even know what awaited me. Because he is a homosexual, he goes to prison during Castro’s time. Since he is a writer, he also faces other pressures from the government. And of course, he tells about his escape from Cuba to America and his life there. I recommend it to those who want to read a good memory book. You will be very impressed!

Of all the sentences I highlighted in the book, the one below was the one that most impressed me.

The difference between the communist and capitalist systems is that, although both give you a kick in the ass, in the communist system you have to applaud, while in the capitalist system you can scream. And I came here to scream.

Before Night Falls – Reinaldo Arenas
Before Night Falls - Reinaldo Arenas

Before Night Falls

Reinaldo Arenas was born to a poverty-stricken family in rural Cuba. By the time of his death in New York four decades later, he had become one of Cuba’s most important poets, an outspoken critic of Castro’s regime and one of the leading gay voices of the twentieth century.

Reinaldo Arenas

Reinaldo Arenas was a Cuban poet, novelist, and playwright known as an early sympathizer, and later critic of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, and a rebel of the Cuban government.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Reading Challenge 2020 – Spanish Language

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.