A community transplanted from what they now view as an island paradise, these Puerto Rican families yearn for the colors and tastes of their former home. As they carve out lives as Americans, their days are filled with drama, success, and sometimes tragedy. A widow becomes crazy after her son is killed in Vietnam, her remaining word "nada." Another woman carries on after the death of her husband, keeping their store, filled with plantain, Bustello coffee, jamon y queso, open as a refuge for her neighbors. And there are Cofer's stories of growing up with a dictatorial and straying father, a caring mother, and a love for language that will lead to a career as a teacher and writer.
"A delicious smorgasbord of the sights, smells, tastes, and sounds recalled from a cross cultural girlhood." -- Booklist "[Judith Ortiz Cofer] may well be the most important Hispanic writer in English today, the one who will happily leave behind ethnic writing to insert herself and her successors in a truly universal literature." -- Ilan Stavans - In These Times "This powerful collection of stories, essays, and poems shows a remarkable range, and, like a great singer, Judith Ortiz Cofer knows how to hit all the notes." -- Larry Brown