Sirena Selena by Mayra Santos-Febres
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



Discovered by Martha Divine in the backstreets of San Juan, picking over garbage, drugged out of his mind and singing boleros that transfix the listener, a fifteen year old hustler is transformed into Sirena Selena, a diva whose uncanny beauty and irrisistable voice will be their ticket to fame and fortune. Auditioning for one of the luxury hotels in the Dominican Republic, Selena casts her spell over Hugo Graubel, one of the hotel's rich investors. Graubel is a powerful man in the Republic, married with children. Silena, determined to escape the poverty and abuse s/he suffered as a child, engages Graubel in a long seduction in this mordant, intensely lyrical tragi-comedy - part masque, part cabaret - about identity (class, race, gender) and "the hunger and desire to be other things."


About Mayra Santos-Febres

See more books from this Author
Mayra Santos-Febres has won many prizes for her stories and was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and long-listed for the prestigious IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She lives in Puerto Rico.
Published April 1, 2007 by Picador. 221 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sirena Selena

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Santos-Febres's Lola-Lola is Leocadio, an adolescent male hustler who's "remade" into the eponymous cabaret singer, a gorgeous siren who seduces wealthy businessman Hugo Graubel—aided by "Selena's" "mistress," Martha Divine, herself a drag queen desirous of financing a sex-change operation.

| Read Full Review of Sirena Selena: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

While auditioning at a posh Santo Domingo hotel, Sirena is bidden to entertain Hugo Graubel III, a rich businessman who recognizes her as ""the woman of his dreams."" Sirena ditches Martha to stay with Hugo (who nonchalantly sends his wife packing) and performs, with smashing success, at the dinn...

| Read Full Review of Sirena Selena: A Novel

Project MUSE

She tells of their lounge acts and decor, spends pages on teary-eyed speeches from queens in full tragedy mode, monologues so over the top they make Ru Paul look like Jerry Falwell.

| Read Full Review of Sirena Selena: A Novel

Reader Rating for Sirena Selena

An aggregated and normalized score based on 8 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review