Reviewing her novel, The Line of the Sun, the New York Times Book Review hailed Judith Ortiz Cofer as "a writer of authentic gifts, with a genuine and important story to tell." Those gifts are on abundant display in The Latin Deli, an evocative collection of poetry, personal essays, and short fiction in which the dominant subject—the lives of Puerto Ricans in a New Jersey barrio—is drawn from the author's own childhood. Following the directive of Emily Dickinson to "tell all the Truth but tell it slant," Cofer approaches her material from a variety of angles. An acute yearning for a distant homeland is the poignant theme of the title poem, which opens the collection. Cofer's lines introduce us "to a woman of no-age" presiding over a small store whose wares—Bustelo coffee, jamon y queso, "green plantains hanging in stalks like votive offerings"—must satisfy, however imperfectly, the needs and hungers of those who have left the islands for the urban Northeast. Similarly affecting is the short story "Nada," in which a mother's grief over a son killed in Vietnam gradually consumes her. Refusing the medals and flag proferred by the government ("Tell the Mr. President of the United States what I say: No, gracias."), as well as the consolations of her neighbors in El Building, the woman begins to give away all her possessions The narrator, upon hearing the woman say "nada," reflects, "I tell you, that word is like a drain that sucks everything down." As rooted as they are in a particular immigrant experience, Cofer's writings are also rich in universal themes, especially those involving the pains, confusions, and wonders of growing up. While set in the barrio, the essays "American History," "Not for Sale," and "The Paterson Public Library" deal with concerns that could be those of any sensitive young woman coming of age in America: romantic attachments, relations with parents and peers, the search for knowledge. And in poems such as "The Life of an Echo" and "The Purpose of Nuns," Cofer offers eloquent ruminations on the mystery of desire and the conflict between the flesh and the spirit. Cofer's ambitions as a writer are perhaps stated most explicitly in the essay "The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria." Recalling one of her early poems, she notes how its message is still her mission: to transcend the limitations of language, to connect "through the human-to-human channel of art."
Type: BOOK - Published: 2012-03-15 - Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Reviewing her novel, The Line of the Sun, the New York Times Book Review hailed Judith Ortiz Cofer as "a writer of authentic gifts, with a genuine and important story to tell." Those gifts are on abundant display in The Latin Deli, an evocative collection of poetry, personal essays, and
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016 - Publisher: Gale, Cengage Learning
A Study Guide for Judith Cofer's "The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Poetry for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Poetry for Students for
Type: BOOK - Published: 2003 - Publisher: ABC-CLIO
Having produced a 1997 bibliography of short fiction by Latin American women that appears in English language anthologies, Leonard (Spanish and Hispanic linguistics, Iowa State U.) decided to create one that incorporated the many works that did not meet the strict criteria. Her guide to narrative work by women of
Type: BOOK - Published: 2003 - Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
This revised edition of an award-winning resource celebrates the lives and works of 35 Latina and Latino authors who write for today's young readers. Expanded to include 12 additional authors, updated information on the original 23 authors profiled, and 135 new titles, this comprehensive reference tool helps teachers, librarians, and
Designed to be used before or after watching Poetry in Action: The Recital, this guide offers a print version of the poem and contextual information about Judith Ortiz Cofer's 'The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica'.