Mayra Santos-Febres

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Mayra Santos-Febres
Born1966 (age 52–53)
Carolina, Puerto Rico
Notable worksPez de Vidrio (translated to English as Urban Oracles), Sirena Selena vestida de pena
Notable awardsGuggenheim Fellowship, long-listed for IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Juan Rulfo Award, Letras de Oro

Mayra Santos-Febres (born 1966 in Carolina) is a Puerto Rican author, poet, novelist, professor of literature, essayist, and literary critic. Her parents were teachers who instilled in her the passion for literature but her motivation to continue was influenced by her seventh grade teacher Ivonne Sanavitis.[1] Her work focuses primarily on themes of diaspora identity, female sexuality, the erotic, gender fluidity, desire, and power.[2] She has also published children's books. She has been an influence in bringing about new youth writers in Puerto Rico. She is also a community activist helping bring books and stories to the less fortunate.[3]

Education and academic work[edit]

Santos-Febres completed her undergraduate work at the University of Puerto Rico and holds an M.A. and PhD (1991) from Cornell University. She has been a visiting professor in Harvard university and Cornell university. She has been published in many international magazines : Casa de las Américas in Cuba, Página doce in Argentina, Revue Noire in France and Review: Latin American Literature and Arts, in New York. Her work has been translated into French, English, German, and Italian, and is taught in many universities in the United States[citation needed][4]

Santos-Febres currently teaches at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, and is the Executive Director of Festival de la Palabra in Puerto Rico.[1][5]

Literary works[edit]

In 1991, Santos-Febres published her first two collections of poetry, Anamu y manigua and El orden escapado, to critical acclaim.[6] In 1994, Santos-Febres won the Letras de Oro literary prize for her collection of short stories Pez de Vidrio.[7] "Oso Blanco" a short story from this collection also won the Juan Rulfo Award in 1996.[8][9] Pez de Vidrio (published in English as Urban Oracles) contains 15 short stories about the complicated relationships between sexual desire, race, identity, social status, and political status in modern Caribbean society.

Santos-Febres' first novel Sirena Selena vestida de pena (published in English as Sirena Selena), which focuses on the life of a teenaged drag queen who works in the streets and has a talent for singing boleros, was a finalist for the .[10][11]

Her more recent publications include a collection of essays called Sobre piel y paper, as well as a novel about Isabel la Negra, titled Nuestra Señora de la Noche (Our Lady of the Night).[12]

Santos-Febres' most recent novel is La amante de Gardel (2015).

Awards and notability[edit]

  • Award for poetry from Revista Tríptico in Puerto Rico 1991
  • Award Letras de Oro 1994
  • Award Juan Rulfo de cuentos 1996
  • Award Rómulo Gallegos 2001
  • awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship 2009
  • long-listed for the prestigious IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.


  • Anamu y manigua (1990)
  • El orden escapado (1991)
  • Pez de vidrio (1994) (Winner of the Juan Rulfo Award)
  • El cuerpo correcto (1996)
  • Urban Oracles (1997) (English translation of Pez de vidrio)
  • Sirena Selena vestida de pena (2000) (translated as Sirena Selena, 2000)
  • Tercer mundo (2000)
  • Cualquier miércoles soy tuya (2002) (translated as Any Wednesday, I'm Yours, 2005)
  • Sobre piel y papel (2005)
  • Boat People (2005)
  • Ernesto , El domador de los suenos (2008)
  • Nuestra Señora de la Noche (2006) (translated as Our Lady of the Night, 2009)
  • Fe en disfraz (2009)
  • Tratado de Medicina Natural para Hombres Melancólicos (2011)
  • El baile de la vida (2012)
  • La amante de Gardel (2015)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Celis Salgado, Nadia; Febres, Mayra Santos (January 1, 2008). ""Mayra Santos-Febres: El lenguaje de los cuerpos". A Body of One's Own: Conversations with Caribbean Women Writers". Hispanic Studies Faculty Publications.
  4. ^ "Santos-Febres, Mayra". (in Spanish). Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "How Puerto Ricans Do So Much, When We're So Few". La Respuesta. October 23, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  6. ^ "Mayra Santos-Febres." John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2012. Web. April 6, 2015. .
  7. ^ Agency, Vilar Creative. "Mayra Santos-Febres". Vilar Creative Agency. Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved April 7, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ Molero, Jose Antonio. "Fernando Schwartz Gana La X Edición Del Premio Primavera De Novela." Gibralfaro. University of Malaga, March 8, 2006. Web. February 27, 2012.
  9. ^ "Mayra Santos-Febres." Vilar Creative Agency (Author Profile). Web. April 6, 2015.
  10. ^ Santos-Febres, Mayra. Sirena Selena: A Novel. Trans. from the Spanish by Stephen A. Lytle. New York: Picador, 2001. ISBN 0-312-26392-9
  11. ^ Rangelova, Radost. "Nationalism, States of Exception, and Caribbean Identities in Sirena Selena vestida de pena and ' Loca la de la locura. ' " CENTRO Journal 19, no. 1 (2007): 74–88.
  12. ^ Santos-Febres, Mayra. Our Lady of the Night. Trans. from the Spanish by Ernesto Mestre-Reed. New York: Harper Perennial, 2009. ISBN 978-0-06-173130-3

External links[edit]