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The Liberation of Carmela Lopez

The Taste of Sugar (Novel)

The U.S. Invasion of Puerto Rico devastates Puerto Rico’s coffee industry and, scarcely a year later, the 1899 Hurricane San Ciriaco carries off Vicente Vega’s coffee trees. Desperation forces Vicente and his wife, Valentina Sanchez, to embark with their children and brother Raúlito on a long, onerous journey by sea and land to work in the Hawaiian sugarcane plantations. Pursued by tragedy and shadowed by old secrets, Vicente, Valentina, and Raúlito struggle to survive in the feudal Hawaiian sugarcane plantation system.

The Liberation of Carmela Lopez (Novel)

A teenager grows up in Chicago’s barrio of Humboldt Park during the turbulent 1970s in two cultures–Puerto Rican and American–and belongs to neither. Carmela’s struggle within the patriarchal Puerto Rican world and the prejudice and police brutality of the American world, culminating in the Humboldt Park Riots, lead her to question what it means to be both Puerto Rican and American. Where does she belong? Can she make a place for herself?

You Can’t Cover The Sky With Your Hands (Play)

2018 Semi-Finalist Eugene O’Neil Playwrighting Festival

Bomba and plena music help to tell You Can’t Cover The Sky With Your Hands, a play created with her daughter, Theater Artist Alyssa Vera Ramos, about how the U. S. government developed its population control policies on the wombs of Puerto Rican women. In the 1950s, the American pharmaceutical industry conducted, without informed consent, clinical trials of contraceptives such as The Pill on Puerto Rican women. The U.S. government’s population control policies resulted in the systematic sterilization of 39 percent of Puerto Rican women by 1980.
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