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Almost a Woman

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From a three-room apartment in Brooklyn occupied by ten family members, Esmeralda Santiago begins a journey that is both a triumphant struggle for identity and independence, and a mother's worst nightmare. Challenged by language barriers, cultural stereotypes, and the fiercely protective Mami, Santiago continues the rollicking ascent she began in When I Was Puerto Rican. By day she perfects the role of Cleopatra at Performing Arts High School and interprets for the family at city welfare offices. At night she accompanies her mother and sisters to Latin dance halls, but on such a strict leash that she has her first date at the age of twenty. Undaunted, she makes up for lost time in a romantic apprenticeship at once hilarious and heartbreaking.

Review:

"Santiago's descriptive prose and lively dialog draw the reader in; we are reminded of the pains and pleasures of adolescence and wonder what happens next in her life." Library Journal

Review:

"Forced to lose her Puerto Rican accent to widen her acting range, Santiago never lost her connection to Mami, her family and her heritage, and her love for them all shines through this engaging memoir." Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

"Not only for readers who share [Santiago's] experiences but for North Americans who seek to understand what it means to be the other."--The Boston Globe

In her new memoir, the acclaimed author of When I Was Puerto Rican continues the riveting chronicle of her emergence from the barrios of Brooklyn to the theaters of Manhattan.

"Negi," as Santiago's family affectionately calls her, leaves rural Macún in 1961 to live in a three-room tenement apartment with seven young siblings, an inquisitive grandmother, and a strict mother who won't allow her to date. At thirteen, Negi yearns for her own bed, privacy, and a life with her father, who remains in Puerto Rico. Translating for Mami at the welfare office in the morning, starring as Cleopatra at New York's prestigious Performing Arts High School in the afternoons, and dancing salsa all night, she yearns to find balance between being American and being Puerto Rican. When Negi defies her mother by going on a series of hilarious dates, she finds that independence brings its own set of challenges.

At once a universally poignant coming-of-age tale and a brave and heartfelt immigrant's story, Almost a Woman is Santiago's triumphant journey into womanhood.  

"A universal tale familiar to thousands of immigrants to this country, but made special by Santiago's simplicity and honesty."

--The Miami Herald

"A courageous memoir. . . . One witnesses. . .the blessings, contradictions and restraints of Puerto Rican culture."

--The Washington Post Book World

About the Author

Esmeralda Santiago lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and two children.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375705212
Author:
Santiago, Esmeralda
Publisher:
Vintage
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Biography
Subject:
Women
Subject:
United states
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures
Subject:
Journalists
Subject:
New York
Subject:
Puerto Ricans
Subject:
Puerto Rican women
Subject:
Brooklyn
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures - General
Subject:
Brooklyn (new york, n.y.)
Subject:
Biography-Women
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
19990907
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.00x5.21x.75 in. .60 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Almost a Woman Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375705212 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Santiago's descriptive prose and lively dialog draw the reader in; we are reminded of the pains and pleasures of adolescence and wonder what happens next in her life."
"Review" by , "Forced to lose her Puerto Rican accent to widen her acting range, Santiago never lost her connection to Mami, her family and her heritage, and her love for them all shines through this engaging memoir."
"Synopsis" by , "Not only for readers who share [Santiago's] experiences but for North Americans who seek to understand what it means to be the other."--The Boston Globe

In her new memoir, the acclaimed author of When I Was Puerto Rican continues the riveting chronicle of her emergence from the barrios of Brooklyn to the theaters of Manhattan.

"Negi," as Santiago's family affectionately calls her, leaves rural Macún in 1961 to live in a three-room tenement apartment with seven young siblings, an inquisitive grandmother, and a strict mother who won't allow her to date. At thirteen, Negi yearns for her own bed, privacy, and a life with her father, who remains in Puerto Rico. Translating for Mami at the welfare office in the morning, starring as Cleopatra at New York's prestigious Performing Arts High School in the afternoons, and dancing salsa all night, she yearns to find balance between being American and being Puerto Rican. When Negi defies her mother by going on a series of hilarious dates, she finds that independence brings its own set of challenges.

At once a universally poignant coming-of-age tale and a brave and heartfelt immigrant's story, Almost a Woman is Santiago's triumphant journey into womanhood.  

"A universal tale familiar to thousands of immigrants to this country, but made special by Santiago's simplicity and honesty."

--The Miami Herald

"A courageous memoir. . . . One witnesses. . .the blessings, contradictions and restraints of Puerto Rican culture."

--The Washington Post Book World

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