Ana Lydia Vega (1946) recognizes the obstacles and literary traditions she and other Puerto Rican authors face. Writing, she professes is “hopelessly intertwined” with the reaffi rmation of cultural roots, the recognition of political identity, and the reconciliation of ethnic bonds (“To Write or Not to Write?” 129). Although some may wonder about the African vestiges in the color of her skin, the color in her works is poignant, pervasive, and polymorphous. Vega not only acknowledges but also creatively brings to the forefront, African aspects of the island’s ethnic and cultural background, while emphasizing social and political issues relevant to Blacks and mulattoes in her homeland and in all the Caribbean. To borrow a phrase from Antonio Tillis, Vega’s works add further to the “darkening of Latin American fi ction.”1 Her texts, renowned for their innovative style, creative content, and biting social commentary depict a noteworthy presence of characters and themes related to people of African origin. The collection of short stories in Encancaranublado y otros cuentos de naufragio (1982) contains many stories that depict African-ancestored protagonists in Caribbean settings, including Puerto Rico. She also wrote Pasión de historia y otras historias de pasión (1988). In El tramo ancla (1988), Vega and a number of other national writers presented a series of articles originally published in 1985 in the weekly Claridad. As Vega points out, the fi rst and last essays of hers within the collection deal primarily with Blacks: immigrants from Haiti and festival participants from Martinique. The stories in Falsas crónicas del sur (1991) take place in the southern coast of Puerto Rico, in Arroyo, the native region of the author’s mother and, a pueblo mulato as Vega states in the introductory pages of the

book (2). In this work, she adds fi ction to local history, daily occurrences and popular legends, while always providing a core of social criticism. Additionally, Esperando a Loló y otros delirios generacionales (1994) is a collection of her essays.