When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir

Paperback | February 28, 2006

byEsmeralda Santiago

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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.

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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...

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.

other books by Esmeralda Santiago

Casi una Mujer
Casi una Mujer

Kobo ebook|Apr 16 2014

$13.99

The Turkish Lover: A Memoir
The Turkish Lover: A Memoir

Kobo ebook|Mar 17 2009

$10.99

see all books by Esmeralda Santiago
Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:February 28, 2006Publisher:Da Capo BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0306814528

ISBN - 13:9780306814525

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Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 3/2/09
“[Santiagos] story is painful at points, funny in others, but it speaks a universal truth: We never totally leave our past behind.”

Teen Ink, 4/09
“It shows you the trials that immigrants face when they move to the United States, including the many differences in language and culture…Perfect for those who like books that have real meaning.”