Picture of author.

Mayra Santos-Febres

Autor(a) de Sirena Selena: A Novel

28+ Works 276 Membros 16 Críticas

About the Author

Obras por Mayra Santos-Febres

Sirena Selena: A Novel (1997) 80 exemplares
Our Lady of the Night: A Novel (2006) 49 exemplares
San Juan Noir (2016) — Editor; Contribuidor — 42 exemplares
Urban Oracles (1997) 8 exemplares
Mujeres violentas 2 exemplares
Boat People (2021) 2 exemplares

Associated Works

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Membros

Críticas

Sirena Selena by Mayra Santos-Febres is about an ambitious Puerto Rican drag queen named Martha Divine and her young protege, Sirena Selena. They head to the Dominican Republic hoping to capitalize on Sirena’s captivating voice by performing boleros live when she captures the fascination of a local, wealthy businessman.

Written more than 17 years ago, this book predates progressive gender movements like Latinx, #Ownvoices and the popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race – which could explain some of the rather unforgiving reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.

I picked this book up in June to read as part of Pride Month. And, I’m glad I took a chance on this little sleeper-gem of a book. There’s a lot to unpack with less than 230 pages: multiple, shifting POVs; transcendence of performance art; erotic encounters; and sucker-punch moments of love and cruelty. Apparently, I do not know how to do light summer reading.

But, guys, just look at this stuff:

“She was a diva from beyond, honoring us with her luminous presence, a goddess who had descended from Mount Olympus to mingle in the dark with us mortals in the hidden bars of gay San Juan.”

Upon seeing Sirena descend from a spiral staircase during a performance, the audience nearly loses their damn minds:

"The calla lilies wither and, nearly dead, they faint before Selena’s hungry chest. Her moon approaches the balcony, full. The apocalypse is about to occur. Sirena, standing still in the center of the staircase, sings…"

To be clear, this ain’t your mama’s "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" kind of story for mass consumption. And, I also don’t think this is meant to be read as some kind of comprehensive codex of the queer experience in the Caribbean. But, it’s a story and one about the roles we all play (whether forced on us, coerced, imagined or self-imposed) in order to get what we want.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
MC_Rolon | 1 outra crítica | Jun 15, 2022 |
Mayra Santos-Febres is a master storyteller. The setting is Puerto Rico during WWII, and follows the rise of a real life madam, Isabel la Negra. But the story is not told in linear order. And interspersed between chapters filled with narrative plot are feverish prayers said by isolated or sidelined characters in the story. One is left with the feeling that the reader doesn't know the whole story.
There is much attention to detail throughout the book making me think Santos-Febres did her research regarding the time period. She consistently names the streets her characters take throughout the book, allowing readers familiar with the locations to place themselves in Ponce, Puerto Rico.… (mais)
 
Assinalado
pinetastic | 1 outra crítica | Jun 5, 2018 |
Este libro nos comparte 14 excelentes relatos del San Juan oscuro, a veces tétrico y lúgubre. Cada historia corta es además de interesante, cruda y llena de realidad. Y cuando digo realidad, me refiero a esa que a veces queremos cubrir para que otros no puedan ver. Sobre todo, esta obra que representa un compendio en el que cada historia es escrita por un autor diferente, está llena de humanidad. Es un espejo que retrata esa humanidad en sus puntos más bajos, y nos devela a personajes que son objetos, víctimas o perpetradores de grandes males sociales como la prostitución y la drogadicción. A ellos, en pocas páginas, nos obliga a mirarlos y verlos como seres humanos y no como meras sombras. Altamente recomendado.… (mais)
 
Assinalado
lizzyserro | 11 outras críticas | Dec 1, 2017 |
Este libro nos comparte 14 excelentes relatos del San Juan oscuro, a veces tétrico y lúgubre. Cada historia corta es además de interesante, cruda y llena de realidad. Y cuando digo realidad, me refiero a esa que a veces queremos cubrir para que otros no puedan ver. Sobre todo, esta obra que representa un compendio en el que cada historia es escrita por un autor diferente, está llena de humanidad. Es un espejo que retrata esa humanidad en sus puntos más bajos, y nos devela a personajes que son objetos, víctimas o perpetradores de grandes males sociales como la prostitución y la drogadicción. A ellos, en pocas páginas, nos obliga a mirarlos y verlos como seres humanos y no como meras sombras. Altamente recomendado.… (mais)
 
Assinalado
lizzyserro | 11 outras críticas | Dec 1, 2017 |

Listas

Prémios

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Estatísticas

Obras
28
Also by
2
Membros
276
Popularidade
#84,078
Avaliação
½ 3.7
Críticas
16
ISBN
65
Línguas
4

Tabelas & Gráficos