A Cuban poet, novelist, and playwright, Reinaldo Arenas was known for his defiance and rebellion against the Cuban government, despite the fact that he was initially quite sympathetic of their cause.His works have been seminal in the Latin American literary tradition.
Before Night Falls or Antes que anochezca: autobiografía (1992) is an autobiographical work by Reinaldo Arena. This text chronicles his early life in Cuba; it also narrates the story of his time in prison and his consequent escape to United States. This narrative revolves around the time of the Mariel Boatlift in 1980.
Arenas's work was quite well received and was positively viewed by the New York Times. It was considered as one of the best in 1993 by the newspaper and was also adapted into a prominent film in 2000. The movie starred notable actors like Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp.