Shimmering fragments of poetry, fiction, fable, and essay reflect a kaleidoscopic vision of burgeoning adulthood as seen through the eyes of the young protagonists in El año de nuestra revolución, the Spanish-language edition of Judith Ortiz Cofer’s award-winning collection, The Year of Our Revolution.
Among the memorable heroines to emerge from this landmark collection is María Elenita, aka Mary Ellen. As she embarks upon the journey from innocent adolescence to young womanhood, her imagination moves from thoughts of school and Supergirl to dreams of rock music, rebellion and first love. Donning the uniform of the opposition— tie-dyed T-shirts, Indian headbands and noisy jewelry with the aroma of patchouli incense wafting about her, Mary Ellen mounts her season of insurgency during which she awakens to sensuality with her “boy-poet” Gerald and the “soldier-boy” Pito. Ultimately she learns the high price to be paid for matters of the heart.
In a work suitable for mature older teens and young adults, Ortiz Cofer crystallizes what María Elenita’s saddened Mamá calls “the worst year in the history of parents and children… the year of our revolution.”