Esmeralda Santiago: Las Madres

Fri. Oct 13, 2023 6:00pm - 7:00pm EDT
18 and Over
18 and Over
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18 and Over
Event Description

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, internationally renowned author Esmeralda Santiago will discuss her latest book Las Madres at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, presented in collaboration with the Bronx Library Center.

To join the event in-person | Doors will open 30 minutes before the program begins. For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

To join online | Whether you're attending in person on online, you must register with your email address. The Zoom link will be sent to you by email approximately one day before the event. You will need a device with audio and/or video and an internet/cellular connection to join.


Esmeralda Santiago is the author of the novel Conquistadora and the memoirs When I was Puerto Rican and Almost A Woman, which was adapted into a Peabody Award–winning movie for PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she is considered a founding mother of Nuyorican literature. The eldest in a family of 11 children, Santiago came to the United States from Puerto Rico at the age of 13. After part-time studies in community colleges, she earned a full scholarship from Harvard University where she received a BA degree. She then obtained an MFA degree in fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College. In addition to her writing, Santiago is an active volunteer for public libraries, for arts programs for adolescents, and for battered women and their children. She lives with her husband, documentary filmmaker Frank Cantor, in New York and Maine


They refer to themselves as “las Madres,” a close-knit group of women who, with their daughters, have created a family based on friendship and blood ties. Their story begins in Puerto Rico in 1975 with fifteen-year-old Luz, who tragically loses her parents and is herself injured in a car accident. Now orphaned, Luz navigates the pressures of adolescence and copes with the aftershock of a brain injury, when two new friends enter her life, Ada and Shirley. In a voice that sings with warmth, humor, friendship, and pride, celebrated author Esmeralda Santiago unspools a story of women’s sexuality, shame, disability, and love within a community rocked by disaster.

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In-Person | Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs. 


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Please submit all press inquiries to Amy Geduldig at least 48 hours before the event: email


The New York Public Library's free services and resources are made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library. Join this group of Library lovers and take advantage of special membership benefits, like invitations to members-only virtual events, discounts at the Library Shop, and more. Join now.

All programs are subject to change or cancellation.


The 7 Stories Up Series at SNFL is made possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

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Venue Details
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Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL), 7th Floor Event Center 455 5th Ave
New York, NY 10016