Week of April 10: (Day class) Angie Cruz’s Soledad


  • I gave out the assignment sheet for the the second paper on Do the Right Thing and it’s due April 17. Details on the assignments page. You can view Do the Right Thing (or The Warriors which we’re not officially watching this semester) on the Video page: same password as everything else. I suggest watching it at least one more time and taking good notes while you watch.
  • I’ll be returning the first paper to you via the same email address you sent it from. Look for it tomorrow if you haven’t gotten it yet.
  • I probably don’t need to say this, but we’re off next week for spring break
  • There’s an important event on Wednesday April 11: former Black Panther Party member Ericka Huggins will be visiting Lehman! The event’s from 4-5 PM in the Music Building’s Faculty Dining Room (right inside the main entrance on the first floor). Event flyer’s here (PDF). Extra credit is available is you’re attending and want to write something up. The assignment sheet for the extra credit will be available on the assignments page the week we return from break.
  • Have a great spring break!

On Tuesday, 4/10, we turn to Angie Cruz’s novel of Dominican immigrants in Washington Heights, Soledad.

Angie Cruz, author of "Soledad"
Angie Cruz, author of “Soledad”

Read the first 3 chapters: up to page 45 in the new paperback edition. Note: it starts slow and Cruz’s narrative is non-linear and slightly more challenging than what we’ve read so far, but the effort is worth it. It is also the first from a female POV and female author. Here are a few things to think about as you read:

  • What do the different urban spaces in the book (the East Village) and (Washington Heights) represent to Soledad?
  • What are Soledad’s feelings toward her family and the neighborhood and how do they change? (Spoiler: they do)
  • The narrative is “non linear” (i.e. it doesn’t proceed in chronological order, time-wise) and the narrator (person telling the story) changes. Try to track the characters and who is speaking.
  • What tensions are there between old school Dominican culture and the different strands of US culture?

On Thursday, 4/12, Read pages 47-111 (Chapters 4-5) in Soledad.

Presentation by Tandy, Jennifer, Chris, and Emma.