Synopses & Reviews
Following on the success of the and series, Robert Shapard and James Thomas join with Ray Gonzalez in selecting works that each present a complete story in less than 1,500 words. Luisa Valenzuela, one of Latin America's most lauded writers, provides the introduction. Readers will delight in finding stars such as Junot Díaz, Sandra Cisneros, and Roberto Bolano alongside recognized masters like Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, and Jorge Luis Borges. They will discover work from Andrea Saenz, Daniel Alarcón, and Alicita Rodriguez, as well as other writers on the rise. In Julio Ortega's "Migrations," a Peruvian writer explores how immigrant speech and ethnic origins are a force of meaning that evolves beyond language. In "Hair," by Hilma Contreras, a Caribbean pharmacist is driven mad by a young woman's luxuriant tresses. These stories stretch from gritty reality to the fantastical in a mix that is moving, challenging, humorous, artful, sometimes political, and altogether spectacular.
"After the Sudden Fiction and Flash Fiction anthologies, editors Shapard and Thomas teamed with Gonzalez to create this stunning compilation of short shorts (under 1,500 words) by venerated and emerging Latino writers. In Andrea Saenz's 'Everyone's Abuelo Can't Have Ridden with Pancho Villa,' the narrator's Grandma Jefa discredits the family legends while holding fast to her own: a prescient dream about the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. Luna Calderon writes about Dia de Los Muertos or, as the social studies teacher in her story calls it, 'Day Ah Dallas Mare Toes.' In 'Imagining Bisbee,' Alicita Rodriguez recounts the making of a ghost town: 'Bisbee's inhabitants want to disappear. They use P.O. boxes and first names. They hide under straw mats and melt into the horizon.' In 'Miss Clairol,' Helena Mara Viramontes describes the transformative makeup ritual of a mother: 'The only way Champ knows her mother's true hair color is by her roots, which, like death, inevitably rise to the truth.' The spirited mix of writers also includes Junot Daz, Sandra Cisneros, Gabriel Garca Mrquez, and Jorge Luis Borges." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
For readers who love great short-short stories, this bountiful anthology is the best of Latin American and U.S. Latino writers.
About the Author
Robert Shapard directed the University of Hawaii MFA program and now lives in Austin, Texas.James Thomas has received two NEA grants and a Stegner Fellowship; he lives in Xenia, Ohio.Ray Gonzalez is one of America's foremost authors, scholars, and editors in Latino literature.Luisa Valenzuela was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1938. In 1958, she moved to France and wrote her first novel while living in Paris. In 1979, she moved to the United States and lived in New York for ten years, working as a writer in residence at the Center for Inter-American Relations at NYU and Columbia. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1983.