"When I was Puerto Rican" is a memoir written by Esmeralda Santiago. It tells the story of Santiago growing up in rural Puerto Rico and eventually moving to New York City with her mother and her siblings. The book then tells of her adjustments to life in New York City.
"When I was Puerto Rican" was published in 1994, and it was the first of three autobiographical books written by Santiago. She would go on to write "Almost a Woman" and "The Turkish Lover" as follow ups to "When I was Puerto Rican." The book ends with Santiago auditioning for entry into New York's Performing Arts High School.