When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir by Esmeralda Santiago

When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir

byEsmeralda Santiago

Paperback | February 28, 2006

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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.

About The Author

Esmeralda Santiago is the author of two other 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.
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Details & Specs

Title:When I Was Puerto Rican: A MemoirFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 inPublished:February 28, 2006Publisher:Da Capo PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0306814528

ISBN - 13:9780306814525

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"[Santiago's] story has so much to teach. The relationship between Esmeralda and her mother is a perfectly imperfect demonstration of how strong women raise even stronger daughters; the resilience of the females in this story is truly inspiring."
-Her Campus