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Ardently infused with the theme of exile, Diary of Fire tells the story of political refugee Camilo Macías, who, as a boy, flees Cuba with his parents in 1969 to settle in Los Angeles. Narrated as memories from a present of loss –a fire has consumed Camilos home–, the novel weaves together journal entries, poems, letters, photos, and excerpts from the characters first published work of fiction. Ingenuously, Camilo sees those scattered writings as pieces of a puzzle that will some day be completed, thus showing him "the big picture." Key issues emerge from his narration: the sexual and physical abuse Camilo suffered as a child and the resulting trauma, his conflicted relationship with both communist Cuba and the Cuban exile communities in the United States, his bisexual nature, and the strained relationship he has with his father. Ultimately, Diary of Fire relates a story of survival. Events unfold as passages from a memoir. as he paints a self-portrait of a bisexual Cuban American writer in exile, Camilo strives to build a life out of fear and cruelty and ashes, but also out of hope.“When I read Elías Miguel Muñoz, I always feel like I’m encountering a slice of my own life I haven’t discovered yet. Th is sensation was even stronger reading Diary of Fire, a roman à clef that explores exile and alienation through the lens of gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Surprisingly, Diary of Fire also dares take on the possibility of—gulp— contentment, of coming to peace with our contradictions. So there’s hope! Diary of Fire is delivered with Muñoz’s usual brilliance, humor and passion, which means it’s, as expected, utterly delightful.” - Achy Obejas, author of the novels Memory Mambo, Days of Awe, and Ruins“This captivating novel is a tribute to the voice: the voice of memory and history, the voices of memorable songs, the voices of friends, lovers, family, mentors, other writers, critics and philosophers, all woven together like an elegiac and often hilarious symphony. The narrator states at one point, paraphrasing Mikhail Bakhtin that ‘Truth, to be uttered, needs a multitude of voices.’ It is this multitude of voices—from the novels of Manuel Puig to Roland Barthes to musical numbers in Mame and of the many characters—that yields an intimate epic of ‘small yet significant lives, not great deeds.’ These unheroic yet meaningful lives are poignantly rendered by Muñoz in a clean, poetic prose, laced with longing, desire, and good old Cuban choteo.” - Alan West-Duran, author of Tropics of History, Finding Voices in the Rain, and Cuba: A Reference Guide“With the reestablishment of relations with Cuba, Diary of Fire is a must read to understand the complexities of Cuban life and culture.” — Alan Lessik, author of The Troubleseeker?

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