From the barrios of Brooklyn to the stage at the High School of Performing Arts and later to Harvard, Almost a Woman continues Esmeralda Santiago’s amazing story of a young woman caught between two worlds. The oldest of eleven children, she is kept on such a strict leash by her powerful mother that at the age of seventeen she had not yet gone on a date. By no means sheltered however, she is experienced in the harsh realities of welfare offices, beaten up by jealous classmates at junior high school, and taunted by her brothers and sisters as she struggles to learn Eastern Standard English.” She eventually breaks loose and elopes with a mysterious, perhaps dangerous, Turkish entrepreneur. Almost a Woman is a tale of transformation, comedy, and survival, both a search for independence and cultural identity as well as a mother/daughter struggle of heroic dimensions. Santiago’s fans will eagerly embrace this long-awaited volume.