Synopses & Reviews
By age twelve, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East L.A. gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests, then watched with increasing fear as drugs, murder, suicide, and senseless acts of street crime claimed friends and family members. Before long Rodriguez saw a way out of the barrio through education and the power of words, and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation. Achieving success as an award-winning Chicano poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more -- until his young son joined a gang. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in Always Running,
a vivid memoir that explores the motivations of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claim its participants. At times heartbreakingly sad and brutal, Always Running
is ultimately an uplifting true story, filled with hope, insight, and a hard-earned lesson for the next generation.
The New York Times Book Review
Rodriguez's account of his coming of age is vivid, raw...fierce, and fearless....Here's truth no television set, burning night and day, could ever begin to offer.
The Washington Post Book World
Extraordinarily haunting and evocative.
Every spiky anecdote from a life of guns, razors, uppers, downers, glue, heroin, sex, and early death supports this former gang member's view of the violence as collective suicide. That Rodriguez's memoir takes place...before the '92 L.A. riots only makes this beautifully written and politically astute account more compelling.
About the Author
The son of Mexican immigrants, Luis J. Rodriguez
grew up in Watts and East Los Angeles. He began writing in his early teens, and eventually won national recognition as a poet, journalist, and critic. He is currently working as a peacemaker among inner-city gangs and runs Tia Chucha Press, which publishes emerging, socially conscious poets. He lives in Chicago.