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The Deportation of Wopper Barraza by
"A brilliant and innovative take on an issue close to the hearts and minds of families who have one foot planted firmly on both sides of the border. It is a deportation story in reverse: a bold re-envisioning with unexpected consequences, mystery, and insight."--Tim Z. Hernandez, author of Manana Means Heaven After Wopper Barraza's fourth drunk driving violation, the judge orders his immediate deportation. "But I haven't been there since I was a little kid," says Wopper, whose parents brought him to California when he was three years old. Now he has to move back to Michoacan. When he learns that his longtime girlfriend is pregnant, the future looks even more uncertain. Wopper's story unfolds as life in a rural village takes him in new and unexpected directions. This immigrant saga in reverse is a story of young people who must live with the reality of their parents' dream. We know this story from the headlines, but up to now it has been unexplored literary territory."
Chinatown Angel by
Finalist for the Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel! Chico Santana is broke and brokenhearted after his wife, Ramona, leaves him. On New Year's Eve, he comes out of his self-imposed seclusion and runs into an old friend from St. Mary's Home for Boys, a member of “The Dirty Dozen.” Albert Garcia is now a waiter and a wannabe filmmaker, tangled up with rising film star Kirk Atlas and his wealthy, eccentric family. On learning Chico’s a PI, Atlas hires him to track down his cousin Tiffany, a beautiful Chinese-Cuban-American girl who has packed up and left her family, sending letters saying she doesn’t want to be found. It seems like easy dough, which Chico could use. But on the night he gets the job, Atlas’s Brazilian maid falls from the rooftop of her apartment in Queens. Albert and everyone else insists it was a suicide, but Chico has a bad feeling. His search for Tiffany is soon thwarted by other family members, and more disturbing and sinister details come to light. Although Chico's being paid good money to look the other way, he’s driven to uncover the truth.
The Republic of East L. A. by
Behind this famed enclaves notorious gang violence its well-documented and stereotyped poverty rates, and the supposed desperation of those who live in East L.A. without any hope of escape, lies one resounding element: real people, with real strength, in very real predicaments.Whether hilariously capturing the voice of a philosophizing limo driver in his late twenties whose dream is to make the most of his rap-metal garage band in "My Ride, My Revolution," or the monologue-styled rant of a tes-ti-fy-ing tent revivalist named Ysela in "Oiga," Rodriguez squeezes humor from the lives of people who are not ready to sacrifice their dreams due to circumstance. In so doing, he allows readers to enter into the hidden and hope-filled chambers of an individuals spirit, only to artfully balance this with the more serious intonations of lifes grimmer realities.In "Finger Dance," Rodriguez pays tribute to the slow death of a violent and harsh father who, in his last days, is rendered physically and mentally helpless. In "Pigeons," we are shown a world where Mexican-Americans ironically and hypocritically distrust Mexicans, while in "Sometimes You Dance with a Watermelon," we meet a mother who finds momentary relief from her life with a good mambo, a hot sun, and a juicy piece of fruit.
Carmen la Coja by
Equal parts soap opera, tragicomedy, and rhapsody, Carmen la coja is Ana Castillo's imaginative variation on the themes of Bizet's Carmen, set in the Latin community of Chicago and the seductive world of flamenco. Carmen "La Coja" Santos is a renowned local dancer who has long maintained an affair with the great Agustín, the married director of her troupe. An angry rivalry is sparked when she begins a passionate new liaison with Agusín's grandson, the gifted Manolo; her childhood polio returns; and her already aggravating relationship with her mother takes a difficult turn. But in the end, Carmen, unlike her namesake, finds her way back to happiness.
The Sum of Our Days by
In this heartfelt memoir, Isabel Allende reconstructs the painful reality of her own life in the wake of tragic loss—the death of her daughter, Paula. Recalling the past thirteen years from the daily letters the author and her mother, who lives in Chile, wrote to each other, Allende bares her soul in a book that is as exuberant and full of life as its creator. She recounts the stories of the wildly eccentric, strong-minded, and eclectic tribe she gathers around her that becomes a new kind of family. Throughout, Allende shares her thoughts on love, marriage, motherhood, spirituality and religion, infidelity, addiction, and memory. Here, too, are the amazing stories behind Allende’s books, the superstitions that guide her writing process, and her adventurous travels. Ultimately, The Sum of Our Days offers a unique tour of this gifted writer’s inner world and of the relationships that have become essential to her life and her work. Narrated with warmth, humor, exceptional candor, and wisdom, The Sum of Our Days is a portrait of a contemporary family, bound together by the love, fierce loyalty, and stubborn determination of a beloved, indomitable matriarch.
Forbidden love was a forbidden topic. Decorum was everything—in society, where Catholicism dictated the terms, and in literature, where a code of decency governed writers and readers alike. To women were left the pale love stories that conducted appropriate partners in proper settings to socially acceptable outcomes. So it was in Latin America well into the twentieth century. The stories in this volume announce a dramatic change, a transformation of the literature of love in Latin America, and of the role—even the nature—of women in this most “feminine” literary tradition. These stories, by exciting new writers as well as by the renowned, are “violations” of the most exhilarating sort, flouting conventions of language, behavior, subject matter, and style to remake and widen our once-narrow view of the literary landscape of Latin America. Here women writers from Mexico and Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, Cuba, Peru, and Uruguay break social, religious, political, and sexual barriers in fiction that is by turns erotic, satirical, shocking, tragic—and always, in its remapping of literary boundaries, deeply and richly entertaining.
Daughter of Fortune by
Orphaned at birth, Eliza Sommers is raised in the British colony of ValparaIso, Chile, by the well-intentioned Victorian spinster Miss Rose and her more rigid brother Jeremy. Just as she meets and falls in love with the wildly inappropriate JoaquIn Andieta, a lowly clerk who works for Jeremy, gold is discovered in the hills of northern California. By 1849, Chileans of every stripe have fallen prey to feverish dreams of wealth. JoaquIn takes off for San Francisco to seek his fortune, and Eliza, pregnant with his child, decides to follow him. So begins Isabel Allende's enchanting new novel, Daughter of Fortune, her most ambitious work of fiction yet. As we follow her spirited heroine on a perilous journey north in the hold of a ship to the rough-and-tumble world of San Francisco and northern California, we enter a world whose newly arrived inhabitants are driven mad by gold fever. A society of single men and prostitutes among whom Eliza moves--with the help of her good friend and savior, the Chinese doctor Tao Chien--California opens the door to a new life of freedom and independence for the young Chilean. Her search for the elusive JoaquIn gradually turns into another kind of journey that transforms her over time, and what began as a search for love ends up as the conquest of personal freedom. By the time she finally hears news of him, Eliza must decide who her true love really is. Daughter of Fortune is a sweeping portrait of an era, a story rich in character, history, violence, and compassion. I