The Defining Sea
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The Defining Sea

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  • Item #: 9781620060087
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The year is 2000 in Puerto Rico. Stevie Pérez and his girlfriend, Laura Rosario, have joined a student protest against the U.S. Navy’s bombing exercises that have caused illness, environmental damages, and death on the offshore island of Vieques. The Riot Squad is called onto the campus to quell the protest and in the ensuing violence, Laura is hit by a stray bullet and killed.

A grieving Stevie vows to keep Laura’s memory alive by creating a scholarship in her name. He is frustrated in attempts to get help in the community and decides to become a drug mule to obtain the scholarship money. After a few lucrative trips, he is set up in a drug theft.

His 20-year-old life in danger, Stevie is forced to flee as the drug gang pursues him from the Bronx to San Juan to the mountain towns of Puerto Rico. Along the way, Stevie learns hard truths about life, love, and loss.

What Others Are Saying:

"Robert Friedman’s powerful new novel grabs us on the very first page and takes us on an exciting journey. The author lived for decades in Puerto Rico, where he worked as a journalist, and he demonstrates an intimate knowledge of the island and a deeply felt concern for its people. This is a gripping account of lost love, the temptations of the drug trade, the island’s complex relationship with the United States, the dual world of Puerto Ricans in the diaspora, and the struggle to survive in a difficult world. A truly memorable, touching story. — Kal Wagenheim, author, playwright, and editor of The Puerto Ricans: A Documentary History

Robert Friedman weaves the different strains of Puerto Rican life during the last forty years into a compelling story of love, crime, and colonial politics. Against the backdrop of the monumental effort to get the U.S. Navy out of Vieques island at the turn of this century, he explores, with context and meaning, the island’s changing social mores, its horrific drug problem, and the political ideals that survive from the past and still inflame today’s youth. — Carmen Dolores Hernández, literary critic, author of Puerto Rican Voices in English

About the Author:

Robert Friedman was born in the Bronx and lived in Puerto Rico for over 20 years, working as a reporter, editor, and columnist for the San Juan Star. He covered politics as the Star's Washington Correspondent until the paper folded in 2008. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Miami Herald among other publications. He reported from Puerto Rico for the NY Daily News as a special correspondent in the 1980s and 1990s. He is the author of four novels. Friedman lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. He has two grown daughters who were born in Puerto Rico.

by Robert Friedman
Trade Paperback - 6 x 9 x .5
190 Pages
FICTION / Hispanic & Latino
FICTION / Literary

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