Number of page: 278
Publisher: Da Capo Press, Incorporated, 2006
Category: Biography & Autobiography
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.
- A Google User
WHEN I WAS PUERTO RICAN A beguiling record of a tremendous journey, epic in its own way, from childhood in a vibrant Puerto Rican barrio to triumph at Harvard, with a defining pause in a drab Brooklyn along the way. Now a filmmaker with her own company, Santiago, eldest of 11 children, was born in a rural barrio. Her parents—the beautiful, ambitious Mami and the frustrated artist Papi—weren’t married, a source of
Love it one of the few books I read that I actually enjoyed
- sergio curbelo
The book Went i first got this book in collegue i was upset about the title but after read the book remind me how much i miss my island and how puertorican culture gets lost in this country. For example we celebrate 3 reyes magos 3 kings but here now we celebrate christmas we bake cookies for santa and for the 3 kinds we put grass inside a shooes box and water under the bed.
- Nicole Marcial
Took me a long I am a 3rd generation Puerto Rican. Never been there or experienced it’s fullness. This book has given me a whole new insight that I look forward to expounding on with my children.
- Carolina Lluis
Emerald a santiago Love it
- Michelle Fred
Great Read Enjoyed the book a lot. She really described everything so well that u really understood where she was coming from.
- Marta Martinez
Great Book I read this book 3x so far, I love it!!, brings back memories from my childhood in Puerto Rico and in New York.
- Alexis Illa
Lexy PR Love
- Cee Gee
Classic A must read
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América Gonzalez is a hotel housekeeper on an island off the coast of Puerto Rico cleaning up after wealthy foreigners who don t look her In the eye Her alcoholic mother resents her her married
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Enthralled admirers of Esmeralda Santiago s memoirs of her childhood have yearned to read more Now in The Turkish Lover Esmeralda finally breaks out of the monumental struggle with her po