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Esmeralda Santiago

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5 out of 5

Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker; Bestselling Author of Historical & Transcultural Novels and Memoirs

Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker; Bestselling Author of Historical & Transcultural Novels and Memoirs

Travels From Travels From:
New York, NY, USA
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Esmeralda Santiago Biography

Esmeralda Santiago is the eldest of eleven children. She came to the United States from rural Puerto Rico at age thirteen. Her family settled in Brooklyn, where she had to learn English and brave her way through an oppressive urban environment, a cold climate, and a challenging new culture. Her transcultural experiences growing up poor and disenfranchised inspires her writing and forms the backbone of three memoirs, three novels, two anthologies, numerous essays, and the children’s book “A Doll for Navidades.”

Upon publication of the ground-breaking memoir “When I was Puerto Rican,” Esmeralda was hailed as “...a welcome new voice, full of passion and authority.” (Washington Post). Her second memoir, “Almost a Woman,” received numerous “Best of Year” mentions and an Alex Award from the American Library Association. Her adaptation of the memoir into a film for PBS Masterpiece Theatre was critically acclaimed and received the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting. Her third memoir “The Turkish Lover” is about the struggle to leave home and forge an authentic bi-lingual and bi-cultural identity which was described as “an earthy, heartfelt tale of liberation, desperation, and the crippling grip of love” (Booklist). Esmeralda’s first novel, “América's Dream” is described by the Chicago Tribune as “Thrilling and page-turning, the fabulous story of América Gonzalez…is laid out masterfully.” Her epic historical novel “Conquistadora” became a national best seller. Publishers Weekly said that “Santiago brings passion, color, and historical detail to this Puerto Rican Gone With The Wind.”

Esmeralda Santiago graduated Magna cum Laude from Harvard University, earned an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from four universities. She has served on the boards of The Jacob Burns Film Center, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the PEN American Center, and The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. Esmeralda is passionate about media literacy and encourages her readers to value their experience and tell their own unique stories. She is spokesperson on behalf of public libraries and has traveled the world as a cultural ambassador for the State Department.

Esmeralda Santiago Speaking Topics

  • Stroke by Stroke

    Santiago was in the middle of writing her latest, and most challenging work, Conquistadora, when she had a stroke that left her unable to comprehend what she read or wrote. In this moving presentation, Santiago describes how, on her own, she re-learned to read and write in English and in Spanish so that she could finish her book.

  • Creating a Life

    Approachable and sympathetic, Santiago engages audiences as she weaves stories from her eclectic life: how she learned English, her years of part-time study in community colleges, transfer to and graduation from Harvard University, years as a small business owner, and rise as an author of powerful, life affirming memoirs and novels. Santiago's Q&A sessions often bring testimony from listeners. Laughter and tears commingle in her inspirational presentations.

Esmeralda Santiago Videos

  • An Evening with Award-Winning Novelist Esmeralda Santiago
    Esmeralda Santiago capping off the inaugural Enlightened Living Day at UC. Santiago was born in Puerto Rico and came to the United States when she...
  • Esmeralda Santiago Speaks to Aspen Literary Prize Finalist Brian Allen Carr
    Esmeralda Santiago, judge of the Aspen Words Literary Prize and bestselling author of the acclaimed memoirs “When I Was Puerto Rican,” “Almost...
  • A conversation with Puerto Rican writer Esmeralda Santiago
    Celebrated Puerto Rican writer Esmeralda Santiago will discuss her life and literary career in a public appearance presented by the San Antonio...

Esmeralda Santiago Books

  • Las Madres: A novel
    Las Madres: A novel
  • When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir
    When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir
  • Almost a Woman: A Memoir
    Almost a Woman: A Memoir
  • América's Dream: A Novel
    América's Dream: A Novel
  • The Turkish Lover: A Memoir
    The Turkish Lover: A Memoir
  • Conquistadora
    Conquistadora

Speaker Lists Featuring Esmeralda Santiago

FAQs on booking Esmeralda Santiago

  • How do I book Esmeralda Santiago to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Esmeralda Santiago for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Esmeralda Santiago, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Esmeralda Santiago or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Esmeralda Santiago

    Speaking fees for Esmeralda Santiago, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Esmeralda Santiago are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Esmeralda Santiago, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Esmeralda Santiago speak about?

    Esmeralda Santiago is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Art, Authors, Culture, Diversity, Entertainment, Hispanic Heritage, Immigration, Innovation, Literary, Virtual Speakers, Women.
  • Where does Esmeralda Santiago travel from?

    Esmeralda Santiago generally travels from New York, NY, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Esmeralda Santiago’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Esmeralda Santiago for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Esmeralda Santiago for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Esmeralda Santiago or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
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    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Esmeralda Santiago is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Stroke by Stroke and Creating a Life. The estimated speaking fee range to book Esmeralda Santiago for your event is $20,000 - $30,000. Esmeralda Santiago generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Dolores Huerta, Olga Custodio, Shayla Rivera, Linda Alvarado and Lizzie Velasquez. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Esmeralda Santiago for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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