The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood

The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood

by Richard Blanco

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Overview

The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood by Richard Blanco

A poignant, hilarious, and inspiring memoir from the first Latino and openly gay inaugural poet, which explores his coming-of-age as the child of Cuban immigrants and his attempts to understand his place in America while grappling with his burgeoning artistic and sexual identities.

Richard Blanco’s childhood and adolescence were experienced between two imaginary worlds: his parents’ nostalgic world of 1950s Cuba and his imagined America, the country he saw on reruns of The Brady Bunch and Leave it to Beaver—an “exotic” life he yearned for as much as he yearned to see “la patria.”

Navigating these worlds eventually led Blanco to question his cultural identity through words; in turn, his vision as a writer—as an artist—prompted the courage to accept himself as a gay man. In this moving, contemplative memoir, the 2013 inaugural poet traces his poignant, often hilarious, and quintessentially American coming-of-age and the people who influenced him.

A prismatic and lyrical narrative rich with the colors, sounds, smells, and textures of Miami, Richard Blanco’s personal narrative is a resonant account of how he discovered his authentic self and ultimately, a deeper understanding of what it means to be American. His is a singular yet universal story that beautifully illuminates the experience of “becoming;” how we are shaped by experiences, memories, and our complex stories: the humor, love, yearning, and tenderness that define a life. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062313768
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/30/2014
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 419,348
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

An accomplished author, engineer, and educator, Richard blanco has published several volumes of acclaimed poetry. He is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, a recipient of several honorary doctorates, and a dynamic speaker supporting diversity, marriage equality, immigration, poetry in education, cultural exchange, and other important issues of our day. Currently, he shares his time between Boston and Bethel, Maine.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv

Author's Note xvii

1 The First Real San Giving Day 1

2 Losing the Farm 39

3 El Ratoncito Miguel 69

4 Queen of the Copa 109

5 It Takes Un Pueblo 151

6 Listening to Mermaids 189

7 El Farito 219

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The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really fun read. This book is the story of a boy growing up in Miami. The writing draws you into the life of this first generation Cuban. It will make you laugh at times as you go through this life journey together. Excellent!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great read! I read it in a day because I just could not put it down. Mr. Blanco brings the soul of a poet to his prose without losing clarity or smothering the reader. I enjoyed every story and could easily picture every character and every setting. Mr. Blanco's story is sure to resonate with almost anyone growing up in the bicultural world of an immigrant family, but it will most definitely have special meaning to those of us who grew up being gay boys in the macho world of cubanazos or, like in my case, boricuazos. There's so much joy, and grief,in that world we grew up in. A world where bugarrones and maricones were always someone else far away that everyone could make jokes about till that day you realized you were the maricon and the macho guy making all the jokes was a bugarron himself. Mr. Blanco tells his story so well that you start feeling his emotions. You can feel his pain whenever Abuela is nearby or his giddiness at getting to know certain men, not fully understanding why he felt that way. I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's been a great help in my own journey of discovery and self-awareness. Thank you Riqui!  -Alejo 
BernieN More than 1 year ago
Blanco does it again...FANTASTIC! Bernie N
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a completely engaging read. It's an honest and entertaining account of the author's childhood that's unique and familiar at the same time. So well written and heartily recommended!
JillKW More than 1 year ago
Richard Blanco's memoir is a funny and poignant account of his growing up in Miami's Cuban community. But like all great coming-of- age tales, the specifics of one life in one place resonate with universal themes. What a joy to read this book, so completely full of heart and soul. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful, multi-faceted and humorous story of a young man's search for his identity. Beautifully written.
ProfMcC More than 1 year ago
A beautifully rendered memoir that shines with truth, humor, love, and what it means to be an American.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blanco is a master of engaging the universal by reflecting on the specific. Explore the author's experience and reflect on the evolving cultural identity of the US by also reading all three of books of poetry. City of a Hundred Fires should be kept at home. What is home? Directions to the Beach of the Dead must be hidden in the workplace. It will take you other places. Looking for the Gulf Motel must be kept in your car. Self-explanatory.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very interesting and honest read written with warmth and from the author's heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Richard Blanco is amazing. You can see, taste and smell his writing. It will make you laugh and cry. Sometimes at the same time. Even if you are not a fan of poetry, you must read this book (and Richard Blanco's other works). They will leave you smiling and happy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waste of time please add poem to blurb