The Newark Public Library Celebrates Hispanic Heritage
This could be Malú, dressed up for a special occasion. This photograph was taken in the old city of San Juan, a year after the time of the novel.
This book, by my colleague Eileen Findlay, was one of my major sources. It's a brilliant look at how control of dark women's sexuality was a key issue for all the sectors vying for political power in late 19th and early 20th century Puerto Rico, and gave me many stories to work with in this project and several others. It will be especially significant for the next book in this series, which will be set in the coastal city of Ponce in the year of the US invasion.
Radical journalist, and my real life relative, Evaristo Izcoa Diaz, inspired and mentored Norma to become a journalist herself. In the 1890s he wrote an article naming privileged young men who assaulted a young, poor, mulata girl, and helped her press charges. It launched his fiery career as a writer and publisher. You'll meet him in Chapter 5.