The Silk Purse: A Memoir [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Silk Purse - a memoir by *Raquel Ortiz Casta?o (pen name)

The Silk Purse is about my early childhood growing up in the South Bronx, New York of the l950's with my Puerto Rican extended family. It begins, when I am three years old, and ends with a major transition in my life at age eighteen.

The Silk Purse focuses on Raquel's ingenuity courage and inner strength as she...
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The Silk Purse: A Memoir

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Overview

The Silk Purse - a memoir by *Raquel Ortiz Castaño (pen name)

The Silk Purse is about my early childhood growing up in the South Bronx, New York of the l950's with my Puerto Rican extended family. It begins, when I am three years old, and ends with a major transition in my life at age eighteen.

The Silk Purse focuses on Raquel's ingenuity courage and inner strength as she struggles to keep her dreams alive while living in this overcrowded strict yet loving household. The nine-room apartment is filled with her mother, Enedina, her stepfather, Pedro Manuel Castaño, whom she calls "Papito," her maternal grandparents Doña Adela and Don Domingo Santiago, her great aunt Titi Maria, her younger half-sister Astrid and their majestic collie, Sabu. And if that weren't enough, there are the various tenants that occupy the back room, beginning with the outspoken Cuban woman, Sylvia Villacosta, plus most of the residents in their apartment building such as La Comadre, Mr. Eisen the local soda shop owner, and Doña Provi the building's matriarch. In spite of the cramped quarters located in the heart of the South Bronx ghetto, in the midst of a neighborhood that is beginning to show the signs of devastation and decay, the apartment, and the building, are a sanctuary for the family.

Raquel has three passions, reading, listening and singing along with her records and making plans. Her dream is to be a singer and help her family move out of the ghetto to the suburbs of Long Island or Connecticut. As the oldest child she has many household chores, cooking, cleaning, ironing, laundry and watching after her younger sister. She is also studious and does her homework daily, after which she retreats alone to her room and sits on the bed in the dark, rocking and singing to some of her favorite singers. She has many, among them Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Hartman, Barbra Streisand, The Platters, Virginia Lopez and Xiomara Alfaro.

Some episodes are touching examples of growing up; others are painful and poignant passages in the life of this young girl and her family. The story themes are about friendship, loyalty, childhood pranks, her first job, the return of a beloved family member to Puerto Rico, the trauma of moving and her first love.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781462812592
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
  • Publication date: 3/22/2005
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 563,243
  • File size: 238 KB

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