9780306814525

When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780306814525

  • ISBN10:

    0306814528

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/27/2006
  • Publisher: Perseus Books Group

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Supplemental Materials

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Summary

Esmeralda Santiago's story begins in rural Puerto Rico, where her childhood was full of both tenderness and domestic strife, tropical sounds and sights as well as poverty. Growing up, she learned the proper way to eat a guava, the sound of tree frogs in the mango groves at night, the taste of the delectable sausage called morcilla, and the formula for ushering a dead baby's soul to heaven. As she enters school we see the clash, both hilarious and fierce, of Puerto Rican and Yankee culture. When her mother, Mami, a force of nature, takes off to New York with her seven, soon to be eleven children, Esmeralda, the oldest, must learn new rules, a new language, and eventually take on a new identity. In this first volume of her much-praised, bestselling trilogy, Santiago brilliantly recreates the idyllic landscape and tumultuous family life of her earliest years and her tremendous journey from the barrio to Brooklyn, from translating for her mother at the welfare office to high honors at Harvard.

Author Biography

Esmeralda Santiago is the author of two highly acclaimed memoirs, The Turkish Lover and Almost a Woman, which was made into a film for PBS's Masterpiece Theatre. She has also written a novel, America's Dream, and has co-edited two anthologies of Latino literature. She lives in Westchester County, New York.

Table of Contents

PROLOGUE: HOW TO EAT A GUAVA 1(4)
JIBARA 5(14)
FIGHTING NAKED 19(16)
SOMEONE IS COMING TO TAKE YOUR LAP 35(26)
THE AMERICAN INVASION OF MACUN 61(24)
WHY WOMEN REMAIN JAMONA 85(20)
MAMI GETS A JOB 105(26)
EL MANGLE 131(22)
LETTERS FROM NEW YORK 153(18)
CASI SEŅORITA 171(16)
DREAMS OF A BETTER LIFE 187(24)
ANGELS ON THE CEILING 211(30)
YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW 241(14)
A SHOT AT IT 255(12)
EPILOGUE: ONE OF THESE DAYS 267(4)
Glossary 271

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