Stereo. Island. Mosaic. (Paperback)

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Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. No simple tourist trip, no three-hour tour, Vincent Toro's carefully-structured STEREO.ISLAND.MOSAIC. draws the reader into lived experience of culture. Confronted with Puerto Rico, other Americans--Leonard Bernstein in West Side Story--often declare the island 'exotic.' Certainly such signifiers abound on this version of the island: mangos to eat, men wearing the Guayabera, tropical flora spilling everywhere. But our dive here is deeper: into the mind of an elderly man losing language, into the ocean in one century to wash up on the mainland in another time that compels the island native to assimilate. To become a 'Sorta Rican, ' in Toro's book, is to become what the epigraph calls a 'hybridized subject.' Even the already- syncretized religion, Santer a, finds its 'Orishas... hostage' to disability and alcoholism, like its believers, like their descendants and neighbors. These scattered migrants, shown in fragmented images, live in a New York as crowded and bright as a Romare Bearden collage. The voice of the island itself plays in stereo through the broken language of the book, now jazz and now hip-hop, coming from everywhere and nowhere. What we are given in STEREO.ISLAND.MOSAIC. is not a comfortable beauty; we feel the 'torn... tendons' of the worker who comes to the mainland to earn money for home. The pattern that emerges is necessary, packed with living history of the island people like the 'epic memory' of the Taino Indians' ritual theater.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781934103654
ISBN-10: 1934103659
Publisher: Ahsahta Press
Publication Date: February 22nd, 2016
Pages: 112
Language: English