International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

On the Search for Identity in When I was Puerto Rican
Zhou Weigui

Esmeralda Santiago’s first memoir when I was Puerto Rican narrates Negi’s childhood experiences in Puerto Rico and her teenager experiences in New York. In the memoir, Negi frequently experienced relocations in rural and urban Puerto Rico and later in New York. The spatial shift propelled Negi to explore her own identity, represented in her reflections upon national identity, gender identity and cultural identity. Through recollection of her past experiences, Negi came to successfully negotiate the differences existing in various social spaces, and understand her meaning in life and her position as an immigrant woman.

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