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Maria is a girl caught between two worlds: Puerto Rico, where she was born, and New York, where she now lives in a basement apartment in the barrios. In lush prose and spare, evocative poetry, Cofer weaves a powerful and emotionally satisfying novel.
Twelve provocative stories reveal the rich, lively world of Puerto Rican American teenagers in a New Jersey barrio. Humorous, poignant, and brimming with life, this collection deftly captures the experience of growing up Puerto Rican in the United States. Text copyright 2004 Lectorum Publications, Inc.
A community transplanted from what they now view as an island paradise, these Puerto Rican families yearn for the colors and tastes of their former home. As they carve out lives as Americans, their days are filled with drama, success, and sometimes tragedy.
La nina seria, the serious child. That's how Consuelo's mother has cast her pensive, book-loving daughter, while Consuelo's younger sister Mili, is seen as vivacious--a ray of tropical sunshine. Two daughters: one dark, one light; one to offer comfort and consolation, the other to charm and delight. But something is not right in this Puerto Rican family. Set in the 1950s, a time when American influence is diluting Puerto Rico's rich island culture, Consuelo watches her own family's downward spiral. It is Consuelo who notices as her beautiful sister Mili's vivaciousness turns into mysterious bouts of hysteria and her playful invented language shift into an incomprehensible and chilling "language of birds." Ultimately Consuelo must choose: Will she fulfill the expectations of her family--offering consolation as their tragedy unfolds? Or will she risk becoming la fulana, the outsider, like the harlequin figure of her neighbor, Mario/Maria Sereno, who flaunts his tight red pedal pushers and empty brassiere as he refuses the traditional macho role of his culture. This affecting novel is a lively celebration of Puerto Rico as well as an archetypal story of loss, the loss each of us experiences on our journey from the island of childhood to the uncharted territory of adulthood.
This work includes a selection of new poems as well as the original poems from Reaching for the Mainland, a body of poems that appeared in the collection Triple Crown.
The pieces in this anthology for young adults reveal the struggles of discovering a new self and the trials of leaving behind an old one. This extraordinary collection gathers a wealth of stories and poems that explore the challenges of negotiating identity and relationships with others, struggling with authority, learning to love oneself and challenging the roles society demands of teenagers and adults. Edited by well-known poet and prose-writer Judith Ortiz Cofer, the collection includes work by such leading Latino writers as Pat Mora, Jesus Salvador Trevino, Tomas Rivera, Virgil Suarez, Jose Marti, Viramontes and Ortiz Cofer herself. Included as well are new voices that represent the freshness and vigor of youth: Mike Padilla, Daniel Chacon, and Sarah Cortez. For many students across the United States, this text will serve as their first rewarding introduction to diverse writers of Latino/Latina literature.
Silent Dancing is about a young girl as she struggles through life, constantly being moved from the U.S. to Puerto Rico, and back again.
A cultural legacy and a woman's desire "to be released from rituals" -- are the terms that Cofer confronts in her poetic dialectic of survival. Cultural icons, customs and rites of passage take root in an imagery that is lush, tropical and piercing.
In this collection of essays woven with poems and folklore, Judith Ortiz Cofer tells the story of how she became a poet and writer and explores her love of words, her discovery of the magic of language, and her struggle to carve out time to practice her art. A native of Puerto Rico, Cofer came to the mainland as a child. Torn between two cultures and two languages, she learned early the power of words and how to wield them. She discovered her love for the subtleties, sounds, and rhythms of the written word when a Roman Catholic nun and teacher bent on changing traditions for the better gave her books of high literature to read, some of which were forbidden by the church. Later, as an adult, demands from her family and her profession made it difficult for Cofer to find time to devote to her art, but her need and determination to express herself led to solutions that can help all artists challenged with the limits of time. Cofer recalls the family cuentos, or stories, that inspire her and shows how they speak to all artists, all women, all people. She encourages her readers to insist on the right to be themselves and to pursue their passions. A book that entertains, instructs, and enthralls, Woman in Front of the Sun will be invaluable to students of poetry and creative nonfiction and will be a staple in every creative writing classroom as well as an inspiration to all those who write.
A variety of stories and poems by Hispanic authors.
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