“Graceful, generous, and important.”
“Cofer is a superb storyteller. There is still much to be learned about women’s lives and about multiculturalism, and Cofer offers particular insights in both these areas.”
“A flawless collection.”
“A compassionate, delicate rendering of Puerto Rican life in America–told in poetry and fifteen short stories. . . . With the poetry accenting and enhancing themes revealed in the prose: a remarkably cohesive, moving collection.”
“A delicious smorgasbord of the sights, smells, tastes, and sounds recalled from a cross cultural girlhood.”
“Cofer continues her strongly dramatic and beautifully lyric unfolding of the Puerto Rican immigrant. Pungent, evocative, and warmly sympathetic, The Latin Deli is a continuous delight.”
In the poem from which the book takes its title, a "woman of no-age" presides over a small store whose wares--Bustelo coffee, jamón y queso, "green plantains hanging in stalks like votive offerings"--must satisfy, however imperfectly, those who hunger for their island home. In the story "Nada," an anguished mother whose son has been killed in Vietnam refuses the consolation of her neighbors and the medals offered by the government ("Tell the Mr. President of the United States what I say: No, gracias."). Cofer's essay "The Paterson Public Library" recalls how, in books, she found refuge and solace from the outside world.
El deli latino transcends the particulars of the expatriate experience to speak universal truths about the mysteries of desire, the quest for knowledge, and the struggle to reconcile opposing selves.
List price: $20.95
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List price: $18.95
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