Carlos Frias, an award-winning journalist and the American-born son of Cuban exiles, grew up hearing about his parents' homeland only in parables. Their Cuba, the one they left behind four decades ago, was ethereal. It existed, for him, only in their anecdotes, and in the family that remained in Cuba -- merely ghosts on the other end of a telephone.
Until Fidel Castro fell ill.
Sent to Cuba by his newspaper as the country began closing to foreign journalists in August 2006, Frias begins the secret journey of a lifetime -- twelve days in the land of his parents. That experience led to this evocative, spectacular, and unforgettable memoir.
Take Me With You is written through the unique eyes of a first-generation Cuban-American seeing the forbidden country of his ancestry for the first time. Take Me With You provides a fresh view of Cuba, devoid of overt political commentary, focusing instead on the gritty, tangible lives of the people living in Castro's Cuba. Frias takes in the island nation of today and attempts to reconstruct what the past was like for his parents, retracing their footsteps, searching for his roots, and discovering his history. The book creates lasting and unexpected ripples within his family on both sides of the Florida Straits -- and on the author himself.
Frias, today a special projects reporter for the Palm Beach Post, has been called one of the finest young journalists in the country. The Associated Press Sports Editors have awarded him seven top-10 awards in the past four years for his work on in-depth features and investigative stories. (The APSE award is similar to the Pulitzer for sports writers.) Among those, a Journal-Constitution three-day series examined the deaths of five high school athletes, and was submitted for a 2003 Pulitzer Prize.
A South Florida native who grew up just north of the Dade-Broward County line, Frias gained the perspective of a boy born of Cuban exiles, but raised among the "gringos." He learned from watching the lights of Little Havana glitter in the distance and hearing the stories of Cuba stitched together in three decades of anecdotes. He says he is "assembled in America from Cuban parts." Fully bilingual, he travels easily between these two langauges and brings his unique cultural sense to his writings.
Frias, 31, resides in Pembroke Pines, Florida, with his wife, Christine, and their threedaughters, Elise, Amelia and Catalina Angeles.