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Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

Author of Daughters of the Stone,
PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize 2010 Finalist,
National Indie Excellence® Multicultural Fiction Award Winner. 
Recipient of the 2021 Letras Boricuas Fellow
New novel, A Woman of Endurance, and the
Spanish language edition, Indómita, coming May 10, 2022.

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In The Press

A Woman of Endurance

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa’s novels are as necessary to Puerto Rican literature as rice and beans are to the Puerto Rican diet. A Woman of Endurance should be taught as both history and literature of las Americas; it cements Llanos-Figueroa as an urgent and critical voice for our times. Her rigorous and compassionate attention to the human experience of the horrific legacy of enslaved Black people in Puerto Rico is a triumph for literature, Puerto Rican and otherwise, and a testament to the enduring spirit of human beings.

A Woman of Endurance is a new classic of Caribbean literature. With exquisite, patient, poetic prose, Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa illuminates the world of 19th-century Puerto Rican haciendas and the slavery on which they depended. By telling this story through the eyes of Pola, one of those slaves, Llanos-Figueroa has written the grand epic that Pola—and all the other forgotten women of endurance—richly deserve.

A Woman of Endurance is a wonder, at once wrenching and tender, gripping and gorgeous, sweeping, and profound. Llanos-Figueroa has written a ground-breaking contribution to the literature of enslavement, of the Americas, and of the possibilities for healing and becoming free.

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Photograph by Orlando Gonzalez

Why I Write...

I was born into a world of stories full of color and warmth and tragedy and magic and humor. I was born into a world of music and intuitive knowing and overpowering scents. But when I went to school, I was told that reason and logic were the only acceptable ways of knowing. Emotions clouded reality. Definitions had to be exact, measurable, black and white, no in-betweens. Keep it simple, I was told.

But I was not simple. I was a black, Puerto Rican female in a world that insisted that I be one or the other and valued none of those parts of me. After years of trying to fit my round self into a square world, I gave up. Those rules made no sense to me. And so I began to write my world, my way.

I write first and foremost because the stories I grew up reading in school bore no resemblance to the world of my family and my community. Those stories did not tell about the way the sun fell on my grandmother’s hands as she handed me my fresh bread and butter breakfast every morning or the smell on my abuelo’s skin when he came home from the cane fields. Nowhere did I see my family’s many shades of brown complexions or the sound of my mother’s voice when she called me mamita. I write because those images of my life will not allow me to be silent. I write because somewhere down the road, I’d like a little black Puerto Rican girl just like me to find herself in the world of American letters. And that little girl? She’s already waiting.


~ Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa



For Media and Publicity Requests,

Lectures and Speaking Appearances contact: 

For A Woman of Endurance and Indómita: Alison Cerri,

For Daughters of the Stone: Vivian M. Cotte,

To download author bio and photos, click here.

Publishers please contact:

Marie Dutton Brown, Literary Agent

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