Tales from Alturas: The Puerto Rican Mystique
Tales from Alturas: The Puerto Rican Mystique
Tales from Alturas: The Puerto Rican Mystique

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    The feisty mountain people of Alturas, in the Cordillera Central
    of Puerto Rico, scratch and claw to survive in their beloved but
    devastated patch of God-given earth. During the early 20th
    century one calamity after another has caused hunger and misery
    to hover over this beautiful Island and its amazingly resilient
    people. The colorful characters depicted in these compelling and
    unforgettable tales seek happiness by spreading rumors, creating
    tales, accessing the spirit world, even seeing the sudden
    apparition of a loved one. Somehow, they must pick up the pieces
    of their shattered lives and continue to trudge forward with
    dreams and hope. “Without dreams,” Lola tells her daughter, “it’s
    impossible to live.” The author has created a unique world in
    which universal themes, such as romance, love and loss, love for
    one’s family and for one’s homeland are pursued, as well as
    themes more specific to some groups than to others, such as
    machismo and discrimination. Tales from Alturas is Emma Chaves
    first novel. She immerses us in her narrative populated by
    multidimensional and realistic characters, often complicated and
    unpredictable, but more importantly, drawn from her ample and
    keen and ardent knowledge of the Island and her people;
    individuals more often than not, found in the typical Latino
    world. This is an outstanding novel about a colorful family
    chronicle of the struggles to endure in a difficult world caught
    between the past and uncertain emerging future. LatinoBooks.Net
    Emma Chaves’s Tales from Alturas masterfully tackles issues that
    often plagues certain families, such as adultery, abortion,
    marital rape—which often is legal in the Hispanic world—and the
    sexual conundrums of marital life. She examines also machismo and
    attempted homicide by enraged people, who lose control of
    themselves. On the other hand, the soul of a novel is in its
    characters, in “Angélica de los Santos,” she is a likable woman
    who bears children yearly, not uncommon in the Hispanic world. We
    feel compassion for a woman, in “Brunilda,” saddled with the
    responsibility of caring of a retarded aunt. In “Lola the Widow
    Goes to Court,” Chaves relates the story of a gutsy woman meeting
    the challenge of two brothers in court. Emma Chaves narrative and
    realistic descriptions of the various imaginary Puerto Rican
    villages and unique characters resembles the writing of Benito
    Pérez Galdós, particularly in Fortunata y Jacinta, and similar to
    the approaches of Dickens and the French Realist novelists such
    as Balzac, as well. George Hoffman, Book Reviewer, Lector Emma
    Chaves was born in Brooklyn, New York, of Puerto Rican parents.
    She lived in a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood. At the
    age of 12 she moved with her mother and sister to the mountain
    town of Lares, Puerto Rico, for health reasons. In 1955, Emma
    moved to Miami, Florida, with her husband. She was the Center
    Director and Community Developer for the Community Action Agency
    in the predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood of Wynwood, Miami.
    Emma has a Master of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies from the
    University of Miami. She has three children, four grandchildren,
    and a great-grandson. Emma has been active in several Puerto
    Rican community organizations and was one of the founders of the
    National Conference of Puerto Rican Women-Miami (NACOPRW) where
    she served as president for two years.


    Tales from Alturas: The Puerto Rican Mystique


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