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Esmeralda Santiago Flyer

Jackson community invited to presentation by best-selling author

JACKSON, TENN. – Jackson State Community College (JSCC) will host internationally acclaimed author Esmeralda Santiago on Wednesday, October 11 at noon in the college’s McWherter Center as part of its International Education programming and National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

Santiago, who was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the author of three memoirs: When I was Puerto Rican, Almost a Woman, and The Turkish Lover. She has also authored the novels America’s Dream, Conquistadora, and Las Madres, which was recently released in August 2023. Her work explores themes of immigration, discrimination, Puerto Rican identity, self-discovery, and embracing a bicultural identity. 

She has been recognized with the National Women of Distinction Award; the Peabody Award, for the PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre adaptation of her memoir Almost a Woman; and as a finalist in One Book/One New York, the largest community reading program in the country.

Santiago transferred and graduated from Harvard University after eight years at community colleges in New York. She earned her master’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and has honorary doctorates from Trinity University and Pace University.

“This is a unique opportunity for the Jackson State campus and community to interact with an author and public speaker who has been on tour across the United States in much bigger venues. We are grateful to our own Prof. Marisol Hernandez-Soto for bringing this event to JSCC,” said Dr. Liz Mayo, Professor of English and Global Learning Coordinator. “Santiago is not only a community college student who made it to Harvard before writing several acclaimed books, she is a stroke survivor who had to relearn how to communicate. It’s important for our students and our community members to hear multifaceted stories like Santiago’s.”

The event will start with a reception at noon featuring international food in the McWherter Center lobby, followed by the presentation by Santiago at 12:30 p.m. in the Ayers Auditorium. The author will sign copies of her books immediately after the event.

If you’re interested in attending, please contact Dr. Liz Mayo at

September 27, 2023

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