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Author Cofer, Judith Ortiz.
Title Cruel Country.
Imprint University of Georgia Press, 2015.

Subject Cofer, Judith Ortiz, 1952-
Cofer, Judith Ortiz, 1952- -- Family.
Cofer, Judith Ortiz, 1952- -- Travel -- Puerto Rico.
Mothers and daughters -- Puerto Rico.
Description 1 online resource
Note Print version record.
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary "'I am learning the alchemy of grief--how it must be carefully measured and doled out, inflicted--but I have not yet mastered this art, ' writes Judith Ortiz Cofer in The Cruel Country. This richly textured, deeply moving, lyrical memoir centers on Cofer's return to her native Puerto Rico after her mother has been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. Cofer's work has always drawn strength from her life's contradictions and dualities, such as the necessities and demands of both English and Spanish, her travels between and within various mainland and island subcultures, and the challenges of being a Latina living in the U.S. South. Interlaced with these far-from-common tensions are dualities we all share: our lives as both sacred and profane, our negotiation of both child and adult roles, our desires to be the person who belongs and also the person who is different. What we discover in The Cruel Country is how much Cofer has heretofore held back in her vivid and compelling writing. This journey to her mother's deathbed has released her to tell the truth within the truth. She arrives at her mother's bedside as a daughter overcome by grief, but she navigates this cruel country as a writer--an acute observer of detail, a relentless and insistent questioner"-- Provided by publisher.
"The Cruel Country is a memoir centered around the author's journey to Puerto Rico after her mother had been diagnosed with late stage lung cancer. The story takes us through Cofer's journey as she sits by the her mother's hospital bed during the last moments of her life, through the grieving process and Catholic funereal rites that follow her mother's death and her return to her life in the U.S. Cofer's writerly talents richly inform this narrative meditation on her family's life in Puerto Rico and the States, her frantic research on cancer, considerations of Catholicism, family, and culture, and much more. The book at the same time is very much a study of cultural differences and the balance that the author must find as a Puerto-Rican American, not wholly part of her mother's culture. We see this come to a head as she communicates with doctors, participates in funeral arrangements and sacraments, and recollects her Anglo husband John's father's death. This very personal story about the author's life will resonate with Cofer's legions of fans including students and those interested in memoir, ethnic and cultural crossings, spirituality, loss, grief, and reconciliation"-- Provided by publisher.
Contents 2425 Orar: Teach me to pray -- 26 Fighting demons -- 27 Fighting the restless spirits -- 28 Pruebas -- 29 In the throes of the Puerto Rican Syndrome -- 30 La limpieza, prayer, and poetry -- 31 -- 32 Death by la tristeza -- 33 -- 34 Too late to ask -- 35 El respeto -- 36 -- 37 -- 38 Sola means alone -- 39 Verde: the color of hope -- 40 -- 41 -- 42 The coquÃƯesâ€? song -- 43 Luto and las palomas -- 44 -- 45 Before the storm -- 46 Proper attire -- 47 -- 48 -- 49 -- 50 The origins of grace -- 51 -- 52 Keepsakes and empty places -- 53
Cover -- The Cruel Country -- Notebook One -- 1 The black word: el cáncer -- 2 -- 3 Estoy aquÃƯ -- 4 The kingdom of the sick is very cold -- 5 A circuitous journey -- 6 Black hills, black lakes, la esperanza -- 7 The way my mother walked -- 8 A field of azucenas -- 9 No se habla español -- 10 Like Godâ€?s own thunder -- 11 Dream of los angelitos -- 12 The Ouija board answers -- 13 Listen -- 14 Cálmate -- 15 -- 16 A continuous thread -- 17 The reluctant quinceañera -- 18 Omens -- 19 -- 20 The albums -- 21 -- 22 -- 23 A hunger for words
54 Novenas and las costumbres55 -- 56 The acolyte -- 57 -- 58 -- 59 Certification of la nada -- 60 On cooking -- 61 Rituals of la vida -- 62 -- 63 A sueño is a message -- 64 -- 65 The meaning of de afuera -- 66 Poetry and prayer -- 67 The many names of grief -- 68 -- 69 The Ulysses Syndrome -- 70 History of dominoes -- 71 Numinosity -- 72 Ashes -- 73 No puede ser -- 74 -- 75 -- 76 Teach me to sit still -- 77 Counting down -- Notebook Two -- 1 -- 2 The vast azul -- 3 Broken heart syndrome -- 4 -- 5 -- 6 -- 7 -- 8 -- 9
1011 -- 12 -- 13 Where time and place and eternity meet -- 14 -- 15 -- 16 -- 17 AsÃƯ es -- 18 A dream or la verdad? -- 19 -- 20 Adiós -- Acknowledgments -- Gracias -- Selected Sources -- Judith Ortiz Cofer: Works Cited and Excerpted
ISBN 1336095717 (electronic bk.)
9781336095717 (electronic bk.)
9780820347646 (electronic bk.)
0820347647 (electronic bk.)
9780820347639
0820347639
OCLC # 904424734
Additional Format Print version: Cofer, Judith Ortiz, 1952- Cruel country. Athens, Georgia : The University of Georgia Press, ©2015 226 pages 9780820347639