Dalhma Llanos-Figueroa – I’d like to pick your brain! And surely others would benefit from a conversation with you, too, given the current situations of our fellow U.S. sisters and brothers in their homeland of Puerto Rico.
Dalhma was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City, but also had stints of upbringing back in the country of her birth. It was there that she listened to the stories of her grandparents and many of the older women. I’m reminded of the West African griots.
In her novel, Daughters of the Stone, the story begins in the mid 1800s, introducing Fela, who is stolen from Africa to work at a sugar plantation in Puerto Rico. Fela manages to bring with her a special stone, the essence of which will pass from her to her daughters – Mati, Concha, Elena, and Carisa. Each of them will experience its meaning during their lives and the power that connects them. Undoubtedly, the stories Dalhma heard as a child are interspersed in Daughters of the Stone, which was a PEN/Robert W. Bingham Finalist.
Click on BIO in the menu of Dalhma’s website where she’s written about her background, accomplishments, and the pride of her Afro-Puerto Rican heritage. She wants other girls to experience the same, spending much of her work life to make it happen.
I love the postcard, Dalhma! Your heart, soul, and love for the people of Puerto Rico is apparent.
Daughters of the Stone is at the New York Public library. The trade paperback edition is coming soon! Dalhma’s website will have the details. And, you can contact her there, plus on various social media. (Scroll to the bottom of her webpage.)