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3 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2000
Ever since 'When I was Puerto Rican', 'Dreaming in Cuban' and 'How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents", it's become a fad for Latin immigrant writers to jump on the Latin Boom tidal wave with their nostalgic (and often misleading) reminicenses about their home land. Yeah, they all want to sound like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and, according to some reviews in the U.S. ...they actually do (?) In the case of this book, I will limit myself to comment on the preface.
Her silly preface means to question the whole imaginary and referential codice of the 19th century Puerto Rican Romantic tradition and Modernism respecting the upper classes. Nothing wrong with that, certainly. However, this gesture was only successful in that it reflects the jaded register of her so-called 'irony' and eases the reader into a catalog of her narrow and outdated insights into her so-called 'Puerto Rican issues'. As an island dweller, I laughed my head off at some of her assertions:
1. Yes, this woman comes from a rich prominent family but that doesn't mean she (or her family)were experts on hacienda owners island-wide so that she can speculate and generalize the economics and living standards of everyone else 'in those days'to make a statement that implies only her family had money, the rest of us were dirt poor.
2. And sure, lots of Puerto Ricans migrate to the U.S. (back and forth and lots of them migrate to other places, like Europe, South America, and Easter Europe) but many of us tough it out at home and YES, happiness and fulfillment ARE possible without worrying too much about what happens in the U.S..
Just a few minor examples of why, even though her stories are beautifully written and fairly entertaining, her views on history aren't the least deserving full credibility. Her assumptions are incoherent, innacurate and show her own personal hangups and inferiority complexes with the U.S.
I'm a big fan of Ferre's so these statements were a little disappointing. Oh well, hope that in the future she limits herself to narrative and lays off the history lesson!
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