Esmeralda Santiago relearns how to read


Antonia Cereijido writes about Puerto Rican writer Esmeralda Santiago’s recent crisis—a stroke that affected her ability to read and write—and everything she had to do to slowly work her way back to the crucial tools for her profession. Listen to the story of Santiago’s experience, in her own words, in the link below:

Esmeralda Santiago is a highly acclaimed author. Her novel When I was Puerto Rican was just named one of the 15 essential books by Latino authors in America. So when she experienced a stroke six years ago and found herself unable to read or write – it was devastating.

Then she realized that she had gone through this experience, in a way, before. When she moved to New York City from Puerto Rico, at 13 years old, she spoke no English. If she could learn a new language then, she would be able to learn again. Esmeralda tells us how it felt when she experienced the stroke and how she was able to reclaim written language.

To access the article by Antonia Cereijido and interview by Maria Hinojosa, see

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