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Almost a Woman
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Teacher's Guide [imagemap with 8 links]



Works by Esmeralda Santiago
(listed in reverse chronological order)

Las Mamis: Favorite Latino Authors Remember Their Mothers. Edited with Joie Davidow. New York: Knopf, 2000. Random House Español, 2001.

Almost a Woman. New York: Vintage Books, 1999.

Casi una mujer. New York: Vintage Books, 1999.

Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share Their Holiday Memories. New York: Vintage Books and Vintage Español, 1999.

America's Dream. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

El sueño de América. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

When I Was Puerto Rican. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.

Cuando era puertorriqueña. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.

Works and Reviews about Esmeralda Santiago
Aguinaco, Carmen. "Creative Tension: How Latina Writers Sense Two Worlds." U.S. Catholic (1999).

Berch, Bettina. "Drinking in the Rain." Belles Lettres 10 (1995).

González, Flora. "The Writer as Mediator in Esmeralda Santiago's When I Was Puerto Rican." Latinos in the U.S. Review, Middlebury College (Spring 1994).

Hernández, Carmen Dolores. Puerto Rican Voices in English: Interviews with Writers. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997.

Kevane, Bridget, and Juanita Heredia. Latina Self-Portraits: Interviews with Contemporary Writers. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2000.

Langer, Irina Rich. "A Lesson in Turning Memories into Memoirs." New York Times (April 2, 2000).

Rivera Villegas, Carmen M. "Review of Almost a Woman by Esmeralda Santiago." Latino(a) Research Review, volume 4 (1999).

Memoir, Poetry, and Fiction
Carlson, Lori, ed. Cool Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Growing Up Latino in the United States. New York: Henry Holt, 1994.

Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage, 1984.

Cofer, Judith Ortiz. An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio. New York: Puffin, 1995.

Cofer, Judith Ortiz. The Latin Deli: Telling the Lives of Barrio Women. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1993.

Cofer, Judith Ortiz. Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood. Houston, TX: Arte Público Press, 1990.

Espada, Martín, ed. Imagine the Angels of Bread. New York: W.W. Norton, 1996.

Espada, Martín. A Mayan Astronomer in Hell's Kitchen. New York: Norton, 2000.

Levins Morales, Aurora, and Rosario Morales. Getting Home Alive. Ithaca, NY: Firebrand Brooks, 1986.

Mazer, Anne. America Street: A Multicultural Anthology of Stories. New York: Persea Books, 1993.

Mohr, Nicholasa. El Bronx Remembered. New York: HarperTrophy, 1993.

Mohr, Nicholasa. Nilda. Houston, TX: Arte Público Press, 1986.

Rodriguez, Abraham, Jr. The Boy Without a Flag. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Press, 1992.

Santiago, Roberto. Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings: An Anthology. New York: Ballantine, 1995.

Sullivan, Charles, ed. Here Is My Kingdom: Hispanic-American Literature and Art for Young People. New York: Abrams, 1994.

Thomas, Piri. Down These Mean Streets. New York: Knopf, 1967.

Thomas, Piri. Stories from El Barrio. New York: Knopf, 1978.

Related Topics
Delano, Jack. Puerto Rico Mio. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990.

Flores, Juan. Divided Borders: Essays on Puerto Rican Identity. Houston, TX: Arte Público Press, 1993.

Gonzalez, Juan. Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. New York: Penguin, 2000.

Korrol, Virginia E. Sanchez. From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1994.

Nieto, Sonia. "Fact and Fiction: Stories of Puerto Ricans in U.S. Schools." Harvard Educational Review 68.2 (1998).

Nieto, Sonia, ed. Puerto Rican Students in U.S. Schools. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000.

Oboler, Suzanne. Ethnic Labels, Latino Lives. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1995.

Rodriguez, Clara. Puerto Ricans: Born in the U.S.A. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1981.

Films and Documentaries
Birthwrite: Growing Up Hispanic.
Documentary. Cinema Guild, 1988. 57 minutes.
Profiles Latino writers and how their works reflect growing up in the U.S.

How We Feel: Hispanic Students Speak Out.
Documentary. Landmark Educational Media, 1990. 21 minutes.
College-bound students suggest ways to improve American education for Latinos.

Mi Puerto Rico.
Raquel Ortiz. Documentary. National Latino Communications Center Educational Media, 1996. 90 minutes.
Relates the personal experience of Ortiz, who grows up in New York and then goes back to Puerto Rico to find her roots.

West Side Story.
Feature film. Robert Wise Production, 1961. 2 hours, 33 minutes.
A Hollywood adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set in a Puerto Rican neighborhood of New York. (Note: Some now object to the portrayal of Puerto Ricans in the film as stereotypical and/or not authentic.)

Feature film. MGM. 1980. 2 hours, 14 minutes. Rated R.
This film follows a group of students at the High School for the Performing Arts.


Almost a Woman
Hosted by NCTE, this site, created by teachers, offers biographical information and Web links.

Esmeralda Santiago
Designed by the author, it offers information about herself and her books, and an invitation to write to her.
Ana Leonor Rojo's article "Esmeralda Santiago and the Latino Collective Memory" appeared in El Andar in Spring 2000.
Maria Szadziuk wrote about many of the issues addressed in Almost A Woman in "Culture as Transition: Becoming a Woman in Bi-Ethnic Space" for Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 32 (1999).
Provides an interview of Santiago by Bair, Erin, and John Coyle from October 19, 1999.
These three pages on the Vintage Books Reading Group Guides site include topics for discussion, questions, and suggestions for further reading for When I Was Puerto Rican and Almost a Woman, as well as a biography of Esmeralda Santiago.
Part of Women Writers in Latin America 2000 Volume I, Lisa Galullo's curriculum, "Truth and Identity in Autobiography: Teaching Esmeralda Santiago's novel When I Was Puerto Rican," analyzes autobiography and its literary devices in the memoir.

Puerto Rico
Describes the geography, history, economy, government, culture, and people of Puerto Rico.
Prepared by the Puerto Rico-USA Citizenship Foundation, this site includes a history of the U.S. and Puerto Rico since 1898.
The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City is a university-based research institute with extensive resources on the history and culture of Puerto Ricans.

Puerto Ricans in the U.S.
"Las voces del Caribe: Recent Immigrants from the Caribbean" by Elsa M. Calderón focuses on recent Hispanic immigrants, including Cubans, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans.
This article, "Understanding Ethnic Labels and Puerto Rican Identity" by Diana Peña-Pérez defines the terms Latino, Hispanic, and Latin American. Includes lesson plans and an annotated bibliography for teachers.
Teaching for Change (formerly Network of Educators on the Americas) in Washington, DC publishes the Caribbean Connections series, a collection of fiction, nonfiction, oral histories, interviews, poetry, drama, songs, and teaching ideas. Resources on Puerto Rico available.

Essays + Interviews | Puerto Rico: A Timeline
Memoir to Film | Story Synopsis | Cast + Credits
Links + Bibliography | Teacher's Guide | The Forum

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