Why is the dream of crossing the frontier so powerful? These 20 mystical stories by Gonz lez Viana, a novelist (Sarita Colonia viene volando/ Sarita Colonia Comes by Flying, Mosca Azul, 1990) and a professor at the University of Oregon, confront the difficulties of adapting to an unknown society. The author offers a deeply personal knowledge of the subject, drawing parallels between the physical world and the spiritual realm. In the tradition of magic realism, his characters look for a place of their own, on this planet and sometimes beyond it. Through captivating prose that is reminiscent of the rhythm and lyrical style of ancient Incan literature, the author places his characters in an underground world and colors his tales with legends, oral traditions, accounts of miracles, stories of saints, and fantastic traditional creatures like the nopal, an animal twin that is born every time a human is born. In his 2001 Juan Rulfo prize-winning short story ""Siete noches en California"" (""Seven Nights in California""), for instance, these animals move in shadows across the frontier, while in ""La mujer de la frontera"" (""The Woman of the Border"") a Guatemalan woman trying to save her ill son searches for his nopal in the Oregon woods. The author has an astute ability for crafting precise sentences and is a gifted storyteller. Recommended for all bookstores, especially those serving new immigrants, and for academic and public libraries.