Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings - An Anthology

Roberto Santiago, Editor One World $15.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-345-39502-3
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.)
Reviewed on: 09/11/1995
Release date: 09/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 360 pages - 978-0-307-55483-3
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