Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings--- An Anthology


"Boricua is what Puerto Ricans call one another as a term of endearment, respect, and cultural affirmation; it is a timeless declaration that transcends gender and color. Boricua is a powerful word that tells the origin and history of the Puerto Rican people."
--From the Introduction
From the sun-drenched beaches of a beautiful, flamboyan-covered ...
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Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings--- An Anthology

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"Boricua is what Puerto Ricans call one another as a term of endearment, respect, and cultural affirmation; it is a timeless declaration that transcends gender and color. Boricua is a powerful word that tells the origin and history of the Puerto Rican people."
--From the Introduction
From the sun-drenched beaches of a beautiful, flamboyan-covered island to the cool, hard pavement of the fierce South Bronx, the remarkable journey of the Puerto Rican people is a rich story full of daring defiance, courageous strength, fierce passions, and dangerous politics--and it is a story that continues to be told today. Long ignored by Anglo literature studies, here are more than fifty selections of poetry, fiction, plays, essays, monologues, screenplays, and speeches from some of the most vibrant and original voices in Puerto Rican literature.
* Jack Agüeros
• Miguel Algarín
• Julia de Burgos
• Pedro Albizu Campos
• Lucky CienFuegos
• Judith Ortiz Cofer
• Jesus Colon
• Victor Hern ndez Cruz
• José de Diego
• Martin Espada
• Sandra Maria Esteves
• Ronald Fernandez
• José Luis Gonzalez
• Migene Gonzalez-Wippler
• Maria Graniela de Pruetzel
• Pablo Guzman
• Felipe Luciano
• René Marqués
• Luis Muñoz Marín
• Nicholasa Mohr
• Aurora Levins Morales
• Martita Morales
• Rosario Morales
• Willie Perdomo
• Pedro Pietri
• Miguel Piñero
• Reinaldo Povod
• Freddie Prinze
• Geraldo Rivera
• Abraham Rodriguez, Jr.
• Clara E. Rodriguez
• Esmeralda Santiago
• Roberto Santiago
• Pedro Juan Soto
• Piri Thomas
• Edwin Torres
• José Torres
• Joseph B. Vasquez
• Ana Lydia Vega

"Selection of poetry, stories, drama, and essays by 40 Puerto Rican writers, late-19th - late-20th centuries. Organized into thematic categories such as 'History and Politics' and 'Anxiety and Assimilation.' Introduction by Santiago makes clear his goal, that the book 'will provide us with answers to our innermost questions of identity.' Majority of texts originally written in English or 'Spanglish'; translations from Spanish range from good to excellent"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While it could have been more strictly organized (i.e., vaguely thematic chapters include ``History and Politics'' and ``Anxiety and Assimilation,'' currents present in almost every piece), this excellent anthology of essays, fiction, poetry, screenplays and other works by writers of Puerto Rican heritage shimmers with interesting reading. In a buoyant introduction, Santiago describes his own, youthful discovery of Puerto Rican writers-``the first book I read by a Puerto Rican author was the one the Jesuits at Xavier had denounced as pornographic and prejudiced against whites. I knew it had to be good''-and explains why their writing continues to feel ``subversive.'' Jesus Colon fluidly combines a thumbnail history of the island's oppression with an explanation of why it takes a lot of effort before a Puerto Rican will ``ask you to have a cup of black coffee with him in his own kitchen.'' In ``Palante! Young Lords,'' Pablo Guzman recounts the founding of the Young Lords Party, based on the Black Panthers. With academic clarity, Clara E. Rodriguez examines racial background in ``Puerto Ricans: Between Black and White,'' a theme Julia de Burgos treats more succinctly and emotionally in poetry. Women are well represented here, although they tend to write about being women specifically. In general, the variety is impressive: Ana Lydia Vega, Martin Espada, Geraldo Rivera, a transcript of a Freddie Prinze monologue and a serious essay by the comedian's mother. Santiago has gracefully managed to pull together a collection that presents a united front while perserving the diversity of the individual voices. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Boricua is a Puerto Rican term of endearment for other Puerto Ricans, and this anthology represents the sentiment well. Edited by a writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, it gathers 50 selections of 19th- and 20th-century literature of all sorts: poetry, fiction, essays, screenplays, speeches, and more. Some of the works were originally written in Spanish and some in English, but they are all representative of Puerto Rican life, history, politics, and culture both in Puerto Rico and in the United States. While authors like Piri Thomas and Judith Ortiz Cofer will be familiar, others, such as Jos de Diego and Pedor Albiza Campes, will be new to most non-Puerto Rican readers. Certain selections highlight media figures, including Freddie Prinze, Jos Torres, and Geraldo Rivera. Appropriate for comprehensive Latino collections in public libraries.-Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinville, Ore.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345395023
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 482,293
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

Here 3
To the Persecuted 7
The Sounds of Sixth Street 8
A Letter to a Child Like Me 11
It Is Raining Today 19
How to Know the Puerto Ricans 20
Island of Lost Causes 22
Hallelujahs 25
Puerto Rican Nationalism 27
On Recent Disturbances in Puerto Rico 29
The Boy Without a Flag 30
Grand River of Loiza 46
The "Lamento Borincano" 48
The Party (From Palante! Young Lords Party) 52
Los Macheteros 60
Double Allegiance 74
Child of the Americas 79
Ay Ay Ay, of the Kinky Negress 80
Puerto Ricans: Between Black and White 81
Nigger-Reecan Blues 91
Black and Latino 93
Babylon for the Babylonians (From Down These Mean Streets) 96
African Things 101
The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria 102
A Mongo Affair 108
Puerto Rican Obituary 117
The Konk 126
The Story of My Body 132
To Julia de Burgos 142
Hangin' (Out) with the Homeboys 144
Niggerlips 151
Little Things Are Big 153
The Docile Puerto Rican - Literature and Psychological Reality 155
The American Invasion of Macun (From When I Was Puerto Rican) 159
Monday Morning 181
"Looking Good" 184
Carlito's Way 189
Short Eyes 205
Poppa Dio! 218
Bayaminina 243
Roots (From Palante! Young Lords Party) 245
I Became My Own Path 255
Yoruba (From The Santeria Experience) 256
Aunt Rosana's Rocker 268
Aerobics for Love 288
Malig; Malig & Sal; Sal. (From Dominoes and Other Stories from The Puerto Rican) 293
My Old Flame 302
HIV 304
Poem for My Death 307
Dedicated to Maria Rodriguez Martinez - February 24, 1975 308
The Freddie Prinze Story 310
A Special Kind of Courage: Bernard Carabello 317
Loiza Aldea 342
The Final Act 347
About the Contributors 349
Author Index 357
Permission Acknowledgments 358
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2003

    An Expression Of Our Experience

    I picked up the book to flip through it and quickly made my way to the check out stand. The intorduction by Mr. Santiago resonated with my experience growing up in Spanish Harlem. Like the editor, growing up, I often felt like I belonged to a people without history. This book is an excellent gift for anyone: from a kid searching for history to an adult needing to read a story that resonates with their culture and their historical experience. At the same time, its a fun read. Buy it!

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