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When I Was Puerto Rican

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When I was Puerto Rican

It is amazing what books can do to people. They can make us laugh, when author demonstrates his/her unique sense of humor; they can make us cry by telling a touching love story or think about the life by brining up and refreshing our memories. People say that the book is good when while reading it is possible to visualize the event described in the book. Nevertheless, all readers have different taste; therefore, opinions on the same book can vary. As any other book, “When I was Puerto Rican” has its fans, who find it a piece of art, and other category of readers, who refer it to trash. From my point of view there is no doubt that this memoir is absolutely incredible.

First of all, Esmeralda Santiago deserves a big credit because she made this memoir very personal. The book is full of the descriptions of author’s feelings and specific details. Esmeralda is very open and is not embarrassed to write about such things as worms that she found in her panties when she was a little child, or her first sexual experience. Every single event in her childhood, every aspect of her life as a kid is described very detailed. But those details are not just dry fact, but author’s fillings, her perception of the world. She is narrating from the position of a child, telling us about her parents’ relationship, about difficulties her family had to face being poor. While reading a book I remembered a lot of thing from my childhood, I felt again how it was to be child.

Another thing that makes this book interesting and appealing is humor, that author uses very often it is impossible not to smile while reading about teacher’s hairy legs or Esmeralda’s experiments in learning differences of male and female bodies. In spite of all the troubles, in her life author doesn’t forget that life is not white and black zebra.



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