Judith Ortiz Cofer grew up in many homes with a loving family in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico on February 24, 1952 to parents, Jesús Ortiz Lugo and J. M. Ortiz Cofer. Since her father was in the Navy, her family [mother and brother] moved to Paterson, New Jersey. Due to her father 's absence, she received support from Mamá, her grandmother and her mother. Although her mother could not adjust in New Jersey, they would move back and forth to their extended family. The relocation between New Jersey and Puerto Rico, becomes the focus in her poetry and fiction. Mamá inspired Cofer through the power of storytelling, this was her form of teaching lessons. As Cofer aspired to become a storyteller, she often created scenarios in her head under the mango tree, “on the trunk there was a smooth seat-like projection. It was perfect for a storyteller,” Mamá would gather the family around this tree. Family in Puerto Rico was an impact on her life since she didn’t have any in New Jersey. Around the age of 15, her family moved away from New Jersey to Georgia. Rather than verbally telling her stories, she became familiarized with writing. To pursue her writing career, she attended Augusta College, where she received a BA degree in English. She furthered her education by achieving an MA at the Florida Atlantic University. Although she didn’t receive publication through mass marketing, she did from the University of Georgia Press. They helped produce her works and publish them afterwards. ...
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... it is a collection of fourteen essays and poems. It talks about Cofer’s adolescence and how she did not achieve the expectations for her to become a traditional Puerto Rican woman (AEW 381). Initially, Mamá is portrayed as an authority figure because she keeps her family in control just by the use of storytelling. With Chick’s point of view, I cannot disagree since it is accurate. Cofer, also disagrees with becoming the traditional Puerto Rican woman by receiving an education and going on her own path to becoming a writer. It is interesting how some of the characters are perceived, although they are considered as fiction since their identities are hidden. Cofer achieves her storytelling by being half fiction and auto-biography since it is written by herself. She reevaluates how women should be known as, but specifically the means of the life of a Puerto Rican woman.
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