Sirena Selena Vestida de Pena = Sirena Selena

Mayra Santos-Febres, Author Mondadori $27.75 (266p) ISBN 978-84-397-0460-7
Santos-Febres won the 1996 Juan Rulfo prize for her short story ""Oso blanco"" (""White Bear""), found in her collection, El cuerpo correcto (The Correct Body, R & R Editoras). This is the talented Puerto Rican writer's hilarious first novel about drag-queen life in the Caribbean. The novel's charismatic protagonist, Martha Divine, once made her living performing at fabulous international gay clubs with girlfriends who dressed up as Bianca Jagger and Margot Hemingway, among others. When she discovers a young, effeminate boy with the voice of an angel singing in the streets of San Juan, she immediately becomes his agent. Taking him to the Dominican Republic to perform at its most elegant hotel and giving him his first waxing from head to toe, she transforms him into the breathtaking and naughty Sirena Selena, capable of seducing the straightest of men. The novel, narrated by both Sirena and Martha, is written in the sassy and charming voice of a Caribbean diva, peppered with occasional Spanglish. It explores the nuanced layers of sexuality and the notion of how makeup and costumes can bring out one's hidden personalities. Recommended for a wide range of bookstores and all public and academic libraries. [The English translation, Sirena Selena, is available from Picador. Ed.] Adriana Lopez, ""Criticas""
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
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