The Meaning of Consuelo (Hardcover)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374205096, 200pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2003
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.
About the Author
Praise For The Meaning of Consuelo…
A Puerto Rican girl negotiates her own terms of survival in this fierce and funny novel by "a writer of authentic gifts, with a genuine and important story to tell." --The New York Times