Synopses & Reviews
Sam Quinoness first book, True Tales From Another Mexico
, was acclaimed for the way it peered into the corners of that country for its larger truths and complexities. Antonios Gun and Delfinos Dream, Quinoness second collection of nonfiction tales, does the same for one of the most important issues of our times: the migration of Mexicans to the United States.
Quinones has covered the world of Mexican immigrants for the last thirteen years from Chicago to Oaxaca, Michoacan to southeast Los Angeles, Tijuana to Texas. Along the way, he has uncovered stories that help illuminate all that Mexicans seek when they come north, how they change their new country, and are changed by it.
Here are the stories of the Henry Ford of velvet painting in Ciudad Juarez, the emergence of opera in Tijuana, the bizarre goings-on in the L.A. suburb of South Gate, and of the drug-addled colonies of Old World German Mennonites in Chihuahua. Through it all winds the tale of Delfino Juarez, a young construction worker, and modern-day Huckleberry Finn, who had to leave his village to change it.
"Quinones takes a keen look the migrant economy both the rural to urban flow within Mexico, and between the U.S. and Mexico in these nine skillful, moving stories. He devotes the first, middle and last chapters to Delfino Jurez, a construction worker who left his mountain village in Veracruz to work at Mexico City job sites when he was 12 years old before making his way to Arizona through the Sonora desert, a journey that almost cost him his life. Delfino 'wanted more from life than simply not to starve,' and his pluck shines through the narratives that Quinones (True Tales from Another Mexico) layers with the sociological, economic and historical context of 60 years of immigration. Other standouts among these very fine pieces of literary journalism, include 'The Tomato King,' about Andrs Bermdez, a longtime U.S. resident who returns to his native county of Jerez to run for mayor; and 'Delfino II: Diez in the Desert,' a nuanced portrait of the human trafficking that takes place at the border. The jewel of the collection, 'A Soccer Season in Southwest Kansas,' depicts the sport's transformative effect both on the immigrant children and on the High Plains town." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Sam Quinones is a border legend. For those in the know, his reportage has been cause for celebration. Now, with Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream he takes us behind the lines and undercover. He puts a human face on 'illegal immigration,' and he gives us stunning stories of survival and dread. However, he accomplishes something more valuable than a mere parade of sensational set pieces Quinones starts to put the complex issues in the light of understanding and hard-won wisdom." Luis A. Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway and The Hummingbird's Daughter
"While the pieces don't always flow smoothly from one to the next, the rich picture evoked overall is fascinating." Library Journal
"[A] genuinely original work, what great fiction and nonfiction aspire to be, these are stories that stop time and remind us how great reading is." San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"[M]ust reading for anyone seriously interested in the issue of immigration." Nashville Tennesseean
These stories of real people who have immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico show how they have changed their new country and how they are changed by it.
About the Author
Journalist Sam Quinones lived in Mexico for 10 years writing freelance for a variety of US publications. In 1998, he was a recipient of the Alicia Patterson Fellowship. In 2001 he published a highly acclaimed collection of stories about contemporary Mexico, True Tales from Another Mexico: the Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx (UNM Press). He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Sheila, and daughter, Kate, and is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. He can be contacted through www.samquinones.com