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Esmerelda Santiago

Teoksen When I Was Puerto Rican tekijä

10+ teosta 2,620 jäsentä 65 arvostelua 2 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Esmeralda Santiago is the author of two other memoirs, When I Was Puerto Rican and Almost a Woman, which was made into a Peabody Award-winning film for Masterpiece Theatre

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Tekijän teokset

When I Was Puerto Rican (1994) 1,366 kappaletta
Almost a Woman (1999) 363 kappaletta
Conquistadora (2011) 352 kappaletta
America's Dream (1996) 201 kappaletta
The Turkish Lover (2004) 135 kappaletta
A Doll For Navidades (2005) 66 kappaletta
Las Madres: A novel (2023) 51 kappaletta

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Kirja-arvosteluja

This book should have ended before the midpoint. Author and abuse survivor Esmeralda Santiago knows what the title character's victim did not know.
 
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AlvaLewis | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 15, 2023 |
Female friendships, growth, mystery, heartache, remembering one’s roots
 
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hannah.rose5 | Dec 12, 2023 |
This was very cool to read, but difficult to review. I guess it’s because she’s a woman of color…. they called her Negi in her family, because they found her dark, which kinda means Blackie or Black girl, negra would be Black girl, although some of her family was more pale; Hispanic heritage people tend to be more mixed and fluid about color than classic North Americans, although obviously it’s *Latin* America because it was colonized by Europeans too…. Negi was an affectionate term, though; I almost thought she was white Latina from looking at her until at the end I read that that’s not how Americans perceived her…. But anyway, yeah, she’s from the imperial territory of Puerto Rico, lol—she doesn’t Chomsky you with the theory, just the experience of how they were not considered the same or equal; and she wasn’t white…. Although it’s not the only, or even the main, thing she talks about. She’s a woman of color, but the emphasis is on being a woman, or, because she’s a child, ‘almost a woman’, casi señorita….

And there’s certainly a lot to be knocked over by, waves and waves of gender and conflict, waves of expectations and customs and conformity, although again it’s not like she’s Marilyn Frye or even Simone de Beauvoir, angry or sarcastic or whatever, (not that that has to necessarily be always bad). It’s hard to review though. At one point I was going to write about her parents’ marriage, and the way people punish each other, the way I get you to treat me even more poorly to punish you for treating me a way I don’t like…. But it’s odd because she’s a woman of color. Gender roles are not timeless or borderless, but nevertheless gender lends itself to a certain universalism because woman and man are not ethnic terms; even the animals some of us eat have gender. But for myself and people like me, when we imagine a universal or quasi-universal gendered scenario, we basically imagine white people, you know. So I don’t know. Of course, sometimes things ARE less different than we might hastily assume; baby boomer Puerto Ricans were told to be ‘well behaved’ by their elders, and rebelled against being repressed or whatever; they weren’t a universally sexually loose or non-uptight Hispanic heritage people like we might so easily assume. But I don’t know. You read most Anglo psychology books, for example, and the people tend to have Anglo names and are basically assumed to be white, and in that larger context we try to wrestle with gender and say what The Girl and The Guy or This Guy and That Girl want, behave, say, do, etc, and it’s like, I don’t know. Better a functional Anglo than a psycho one; I don’t want to press the point too far, but how do you tackle gender without the invisible context of Anglo-ness?

I really don’t know what to say about it, even after having read someone feel their own way through the forest, or across the sea, I guess, lol.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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goosecap | 21 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 20, 2022 |
"To her, the scar is not invisible. It irritates her when people pretend it's not there. It's a reminder of who she is now, and who she was then....They're there to remind her that she fought for her life, and that, no matter what how others may interpret it, she has a right to live that life as she chooses."

America's Dream by Esmeralda Santiago was November's pick for #ReadPuertoRican book club. In this one, Santiago highlights Puerto Rican women while at the same time giving you important Puerto Rican history such as: U.S. occupation and bomb testing in Vieques, birth control and sterilization of Puerto Rican women, and rise of tourism from the slave system and haciendas. Santiago's main focus was on machismo and domestic violence. Although this book published in 1996, it relevant still today as Puerto Rican femicide and gender violence led to a state if emergency being declared in Puerto Rico as gender based violence continues to rise and has historically been a huge problem in the Caribbean.

Santiago gives us a nuanced perspective on domestic abuse through America Gonzalez's eyes. She shows us how difficult it is to get help while being in and even after leaving the relationship. She shows us the push-pull mentality as Puerto Rican women grapple with wanting to pursue freedom through feminism but at the same time upholding the very same beliefs that are the cause of their oppression. For many women poverty forces the cycle of violence and machismo to continue. She shows how mother-daughter relationships are strained through mixed messaging and not being able to openly talk about machismo without feeling like they're assimilating or abandoning their culture. She shows us the ways they cope with abuse and trauma, from total denial of depression, numbing through alcoholism and learning how to be in survival mode on a daily basis.

What I found interesting about Santiago's writing is how she places the status of women within the greater context of the colonial status of Puerto Rico. The state of ambivalence the women display directly mirrors the mentality of Puerto Ricans when is comes to their relationship with the U.S.
They've been abused for so long, they've almost become passive. They know they need to change in order to survive but the roots of trauma and abuse are embedded so deeply through Puerto Ricans that at times, it feels almost impossible to come up for air. But the Puerto Rican resilience and will to survive has sustained despite all the tragedy. For many change has come from exposure to living in the diaspora but more importantly by holding on to language, refusing assimilation and empowering the next generation to become changemakers. Essentially, the fate of Puerto Rican women depends on the fight for Puerto Rico's sovereignty. América Gonzalez, as a character reminds us that although we may be battered and bruised, we are not broken and there is much work to do in the areas of decolonization, unlearning machismo and gender violence and solidarity in liberation movements. Siempre pa'lante but never forgetting what it means to be a Puerto Rican survivor.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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Booklover217 | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 5, 2022 |

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