Happy Days Uncle Sergio Essays

Magali García Ramis (born 1946, Santurce, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican writer.


Magali García Ramis was born in 1946 in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico and spent her childhood in this borough of San Juan, with her mother, father and brothers, near her mother's family, with close relations with uncles, cousins and her maternal grandmother.

Her father worked as a civil servant in Fort Buchanan; her mother worked in her sister's laboratory for a while and later stayed home with her children. Her eldest aunt, María Luisa Ramis, was the first woman in Puerto Rico to open a laboratory and all the aunts worked there. García Ramis spent many hours of her childhood in her grandmother's house and in the laboratory.

When García Ramis was a teenager, her family moved to the upscale Miramar section and she and her elder brother had to change schools. She enrolled at the Academia del Perpetuo Socorro (Academy of Our Lady of Perpetual Help), where she graduated from high school.

Education and literary contributions[edit]

In 1964 she enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico where she majored in History. After graduating, she worked for the newspaper El Mundo. In 1968 she received a scholarship and moved to New York City to study journalism at Columbia University. It is in New York that she writes her first story, "Todos los domingos" ("Every Sunday").

With this story she won first prize in the literary contest of the Ateneo Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican Athenaeum). She returned to Puerto Rico in 1971 and started to work for the newspaper El Imparcial. She worked for the newspaper until 1972. She also worked for a literary magazine called Avance until 1973. During this period she continued to write short stories.

García Ramis sent a book composed of 4 short stories to a contest sponsored by the Casa de las Américas in Cuba. She received an honorary mention for one of the stories "La viuda de Chencho el Loco" ("The Widow of Chencho, the Mad Man") which was published in 1974. That same year she moved to Mexico. She returned to Puerto Rico in 1977 and published another book of short stories called La familia de todos nosotros. She started to work for the School of Communications at the University of Puerto Rico. She routinely collaborated in several Puerto Rican newspapers.

She finished her famous semi-autographical novel Felices días, tío Sergio (Happy Days, Uncle Sergio) in 1985; it was published in 1986.[1] In 1988, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her second novel, Las horas del Sur (The Hours of the South).[citation needed]

In 1993, García Ramis published La ciudad que me habita (The City that Inhabits Me), a collection of journalistic essays that she wrote while she worked for El Mundo, El Imparcial, Avance, Claridad and La Hora.[citation needed]

Themes and influences[edit]

García Ramis's stories are depictions of Puerto Rican culture, family and politics. She writes about interactions within a family, Puerto Rican identity and women's identity.[2]

In her best known[citation needed] work of fiction, Happy Days, Uncle Sergio, she explores the relationship between a young Puerto Rican tomboy and her uncle, who is rumored to be a homosexual.[3]

Literary works[edit]

  • La familia de todos nosotros (1976)
  • La ciudad que me habita (journalistic essays)(1996)
  • Las noches del Riel de oro (1995)
  • Felices días, tío Sergio (1987)
  • Las horas del sur (novel)
  • La R de mi padre y otras letras familiares (essays)

See also[edit]


  1. ^Rivas Nina, Myrna. "Magali García Ramis: La ciudad como espacio ideal"Archived 2007-01-27 at the Wayback Machine., ciudadseva.com, October 9, 2001; accessed January 15, 2010. (in Spanish)
  2. ^"Magali García Ramis", biografiasyvidas.com, November 30, 1999; accessed May 2, 2012. (in Spanish)
  3. ^La Fountain-Stokes, Lawrence. "Tomboy Tantrums and Queer Infatuations: Reading Lesbianism in Magali García Ramis’s Felices días, tío Sergio." Lourdes Torres and Inmaculada Pertusa-Seva, eds. Tortilleras: Hispanic and U.S. Latina Lesbian Expression. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2003, pp. 47-67; ISBN 1-59213-007-0.
Winnie - The protagonist, and is married to Willie. Winnie is buried in a mound of earth that grows higher each day as Willie lies in a hole behind her. She fills up her days with talk that Willie ignores, rituals with implements from her black bag, and with the nearly constant optimistic proclamation that today will be a "happy day."

Read an in-depth analysis of Winnie.

Willie - Married to Winnie and is her foil. Willie crawls in and out of his hole behind her and is generally off-stage. He ignores Winnie most of the time, either sleeping or reading his newspaper.

Read an in-depth analysis of Willie.

Shower/Cooker and fiancée  - An imaginary couple that Winnie conjures up. Winnie sees them as holding hands and holding bags in their free hands, while they watch and discuss Winnie's condition.

Mildred - A young girl. Winnie tells Mildred's story about undressing her doll in the middle of the night. It is unclear if Mildred is the young Winnie, or a pure fantasy.

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