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Hot Soles in Harlem
     

Hot Soles in Harlem

by Emilio Diaz Valcarcel, Tanya T. Fayen (Translator), Emilio Diaz Valcarcel
 
Gerardo Sánchez is not the average Puerto Rican arrival to New York City. He is ironically blessed with fair skin, blue eyes, and the good fortune to have met Aleluya, an intrepid guide to the "New Yorkian" world. This mysterious intellectual takes him from Harlem slums to Fifth Avenue penthouses and intellectual circles of New York, setting off the linguistic

Overview

Gerardo Sánchez is not the average Puerto Rican arrival to New York City. He is ironically blessed with fair skin, blue eyes, and the good fortune to have met Aleluya, an intrepid guide to the "New Yorkian" world. This mysterious intellectual takes him from Harlem slums to Fifth Avenue penthouses and intellectual circles of New York, setting off the linguistic and cultural odyssey that becomes the every day life of the new immigrant.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Gerardo . . . is a keen observer of the city's people, images, smells and accents, which he relates in a stream of highly impressionistic consciousness . . . [and with] lucidity of language, which often feels like poems strung together as prose."  —Publishers Weekly

"Díaz Valcárcel uses numerous passages of descriptive cataloging reminiscent Whitmanesque or Beat poetry. Touted for his innovative techniques, Díaz Valcárcel creates a cast of cosmopolitan characters to intrigue readers as they explore New York with Gerardo, a newly arrived Puerto Rican immigrant."  —Library Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
New York City, as seen through the eyes of recently immigrated Gerardo Sanchez, can be vibrant and desolate, clear and irrational. Gerardo leaves his child and ex-wife in Puerto Rico for a better life in Manhattan. He meets Aleluya, an intellectual militant who is enraptured and enraged by Gerardo's ignorance of most everything. Aleluya looks out for Gerardo when he can, finding the newcomer a place to stay and leading him to a lawyer and a doctor when the ceiling in his slum apartment falls on his head. There are passageways to worlds Gerardo has never imagined, filled with transvestites, artists, activists and people of many nationalities. For all Gerardo's naivete, he is a keen observer of the city's people, images, smells and accents, which he relates in a stream of highly impressionistic consciousness. Forty-second street becomes ``greasy corn-on-the-cob steakhouse turnovers pizzeria the store windows display hard core underground porn.'' The confusion generated by Valcarcel's ( Schemes in the Month of March ) relative indifference to punctuation and dramatic development is assuaged by the lucidity of the language, which often feels like poems strung together as prose. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Award-winning Puerto Rican writer Diaz Valcarcel has been publishing fiction since the 1960s. Some of his earlier works include Harlem Todos Los Dias (1978), Inventario (1975), and Schemes in the Month of March ( LJ 12/15/79), which was originally published in Spanish in 1972. In this work, Diaz Valcarcel uses numerous passages of descriptive cataloging reminiscent of Whitmanesque or Beat poetry. Touted for his innovative techniques, Diaz Valcarcel creates a cast of cosmopolitan characters to intrigue readers as they explore New York City with Gerardo, a newly arrived Puerto Rican immigrant. The possibilities for this novel at first seem limitless, principally because of Gerardo's fair skin, fair hair, and blue eyes. Unfortunately, readers may find his transformation into a ``newyorican'' not particularly revealing. Recommended for large Hispanic literary collections.-- Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780935480610
Publisher:
Latin American Literary Review Press
Publication date:
07/01/1993
Series:
Discoveries Series
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

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Meet the Author

Emilio Díaz Valcárcel is a Puerto Rican writer who emerged as part of the 1945 generation—known collectively for addressing social, political, and economic concerns in writing. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Biblioteca Breve Prize in Spain for Schemes in the Month of March and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Tanya T. Fayen is a translator and the author of In Search of the Latin American Faulkner.

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