Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm

Haymarket. Sept. 2019. 170p. ed. by ed. by Yarimar Bonilla & Marisol Lebron. notes. ISBN 9781642590302. pap. $17; ebk. ISBN 9781642590869. SOC SCI
Inspired by a 2018 conference at Rutgers University, this title features a series of essays, poems, critiques, interviews, and art centered on Puerto Rico and the aftermath of 2017’s catastrophic Hurricane Maria. Written from many different perspectives, the collection shows that this disaster laid bare other cumulative negative effects that have affected the archipelago throughout its history: from its colonial status to its recent debt and economic crises to its politics and the aftereffects of disaster capitalism. Each essay shows the impact of Maria through various interpretations, which gives a broad spectrum of reactions, from first-person accounts through plays, interviews, and poems to the journalistic narratives of the debt crisis and community-based relief initiatives.
VERDICT That many of the authors expand on the topic of Maria to include historical background as well as future speculations and possible solutions adds an extra dimension that enhances the book’s relevancy. For specialists, academic libraries, and those interested in a broader and deeper understanding of the impact of Maria on Puerto Rico.

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