Casi una Mujer
By Esmeralda Santiago
(Vintage Espanol, Paperback, 9780375705267, 320pp.)
Publication Date: September 7, 1999
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A simultaneous Spanish-language edition, originally translated for Vintage by
In her new memior, the acclaimed author of When I Was Puerto Rican continues the riveting chronicle of her life.
"Negi," as Santiago's family affectionately calls her, leaves rural Macun in 1961 to live in a three-bedroom tenement apartment with seven siblings, and inquisitive grandmother, and a strict mother who won't allow her to date. At thirteen, Negi yearns for her own bed, for privacy, and her father, who remains in Puerto Rico. Translating for Mami at the welfare office in the morning, starring as Cleopatra at New York's Performing Arts High School in the afternoon, and dancing salsa all night, she also seeks to find balance between being an American and Puerto Rican. When Negi defies her mother by going on a series of dates, she finds that independence brings challenges.
At once a universally poignant coming-of-age tale and a heartfelt immigrant's story, Almost a Woman is Santiago's triumphant journey into womanhood.
Esmeralda Santiago lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and two children.
Translated into Spanish by Nina Torres-Vidal
"A courageous memoir...One witnesses the blessings, contradictions, and restraints of Puerto Rican culture." --The Washington Post Book World
"Richly evocative...[Santiago has] the skill to render the most minute details of her before and after lives." --The Los Angeles Times
"Santiago writes with a flair for detail, humor, and complex emotion that draws readers into a delightful...if sometimes heart breaking, personal journey." --The Orlando Sentinel
"A universal tale...made special by Santiago's simplicity and honesty." --Miami Herald