Congratulations to FFPP Alum Bret Maney (Lehman College) for the release of his translation of Guillermo Cotto-Thorner’s Manhattan Tropics. Maney also edited this bilingual edition, published as Manhattan Tropics/Trópico en Manhattan. The first novel of the Puerto Rican mass migration to New York City, and one of the early novels of Puerto Rican New York, Manhattan Tropics appears as part of the “Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Series” from Arte Público Press at the University of Houston.
Originally published in 1951 as Trópico en Manhattan, it was the first novel to focus on the postwar influx of Puerto Ricans to New York. Cotto-Thorner’s use of code-switching, or “Spanglish,” reflects the characters’ bicultural reality and makes the novel a forerunner of Nuyorican writing and contemporary Latino literature. This new bilingual edition contains a first-ever English translation by J. Bret Maney that artfully captures the style and spirit of the original Spanish. The novel’s exploration of class, race and gender—while demonstrating the community’s resilience and cultural pride—ensures its relevance today.