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Las Mamis Paperback – April 17, 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For this collection of well-wrought literary snapshots, Santiago (When I Was Puerto Rican) and Davidow (founding editor of S! magazine) have gathered reminiscences from 14 accomplished Latino authors, including Mandalit del Barco, Il n Stavans and Francisco Goldman. Since the present generation of Latino writers had mothers who were almost always working women, many contemporary Latino authors have claimed that their cultural education came from their grandmothers. Thus this anthology also affords an intriguing glimpse of an often overlooked generation of Latinas. Dominican Junot D!az describes his family as "Section Eight, los c#pones, AFDC all the way," with his single "moms" keeping them alive. D!az was a rebel and well on the way to total dissolution, when he discovered "she was a person and not just somebody who washed my underwear and cooked my meals. She had a world inside of her." At the other end of the economic spectrum, Mar!a Ampara Escand?n describes her mother's shopping obsession, which took the family from Mexico City to Houston twice a year. Marjorie Agos!n writes poetically of a Chilean mother who told her children, "I have lived among the dead and among memories that tell only of the dead," while Chicano novelist Dagoberto Gilb describes how he informed his mother of his transformation from construction worker to award-winning novelist only when she was on her deathbed. From rich mamis to poor ones, loving to relentless, this collection of essays eloquently captures the diversity of Latino culture while paying tribute to its most enduring characteristic: amor a madre. Includes photos of each contributor's mother. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Family always harbors the most passionate and intimate feelings, and good writers express better than most those details of family life. These 14 essays by major Latin American authors such as Marjorie Agos!n tell of humble beginnings, fighting cancer, hiding one's work in order to hide one's homosexuality, and the experience of leaving home for the United States. Mexican thinker Jos Vasconcelos foresaw that Latin America would be the first place in the world to have an ethnic global culture. His vision is borne out by this collection of works by Puerto Rican, Peruvian, Chilean, Cuban, Mexican, and other writers. The book becomes a bridge between the shores, so far well delineated, of Latin world authors and hyphenated-American writers. The editors, Santiago (When I Was Puerto Rican) and Davidow (founder of the Latino magazine S!), correctly disregard origins and pseudo-measurements of latinismo and, as a result, offer a triumph of community and a valuable manifestation of what it is to be Hispanic. We see how definitions of identity are best off in the hands of artists. For this reason and for the very powerful prose, this work belongs in every library.
-Rene Perez-Lopez, Norfolk P.L., VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; First Edition edition (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037572687X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375726873
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,599,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One has to bear in mind that writing about people one knows is very subjective, and this is the author's right. People simply are not objective about those close to them. The writers of this book have accomplished a creation that has resulted in a beautiful specimen of literature, rich in description and sentiment, both amusing and tragic.
How can one not laugh when Jaime Manrique quotes the only comment his mother makes after she sees her son's pictures in a magazine spread for the first time: " You look fat, You'd better lay off those pies" and how can one not cry when he writes "The most wonderful tribute I can pay to my mother is to say that whereas most children automatically love their mothers, I've grown to love Soledad." But these quotes don't mean much without reading all that precedes them.
And then, who will ever forget, once read, Alba Ambert's haunting search for a mother she has never known and how she consciously forms a life for herself based on this lack of knowledge?
If you are looking for straight storytelling, you will find it here, but you will also find great sentiment and poetry within these pages. That in itself is worth the read. One no longer cares as one reads along if it is true or not; it still touches the soul.
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Format: Hardcover
Esmeralda Santiago edits Las Mamis, a powerful gathering of Latino authors who recall their mothers. The fourteen women portray a cross-section of Latino culture and economic backgrounds in this loving memoir of influential parents.
Diane C. Donovan Reviewer
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Format: Hardcover
I read this at a Barnes & Noble store. I had a hard time putting it down. I believe that most of us (hispanic women) can relate to the stories told.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very excited to receive this book as a gift but even more excited to read it! It was a love affair from page one! Captivating! Funny! Engaging! I bought five copies for everyone in my family, had to share! The stories are told from the heart and you feel the authors love for their mothers and respect and admiration in every word written. No fairy tales here, just Latin mothers showing what it means to be a mother!
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Format: Paperback
I LOVED this book! It has some great short stories from a variety of authors. Very tasty! Each story has its own flavor, and this makes for a great literary soup. It reaches across cultural boundaries to touch hearts and souls of us all.

Seriously great reading!

Marta Lomeli, author

Cuentos From the House on West Connecticut Avenue
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What can I say? Excellent book! Very interesting. You most buy it if you want to know more about these Mamis - Mothers of different Latinamerican writters are the inspiration in a way or another in their lives. Touching stories about reality with different backgrounds with one purpose: to show us how our Mamis influence in our lives. Beautiful stories put together.
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