Luis Rafael Sánchez, born on November 17, 1936, spent his first sixteen years in Humacao, at that time a city of fewer than eight thousand people on the Humacao River near the ocean in eastern Puerto Rico. Born to working-class parents, Sánchez received his early education in the local schools of Humacao. In his early teens, he wanted to reconsider and reorder his concept of reality. To do this, he realized that he would need to write, so he started to perfect his writing skills.
In 1948, with the industrialization and urbanization of Puerto Rico, Sánchez’s parents moved to San Juan, where Luis attended secondary school and later the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, majoring in theater studies. Here his two earliest plays were performed. The university fellowship that sent him to Columbia University made it possible for him to experience firsthand a broad spectrum of live, professional drama.
Upon graduation from the University of Puerto Rico, Sánchez acted in soap operas before he returned to the campus to teach theater studies in the university’s experimental high school. He attributes some of his facility in writing and in capturing the idiom of common people to his work in soap operas.
In the early 1960’s, the university offered to support Sánchez’s return to the United States to study for a master’s degree. He attended New York University, where he majored in Spanish literature, receiving the master of...
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