Devil, Delfina Varela and the Used Chevy

Louie Garcia Robinson, Author Anchor Books $9 (289p) ISBN 978-0-385-46868-8
This excellent, quick-pulsed first novel affectionately satirizes the Mexican-American community in La Michon, San Francisco's Mission District, by concentrating on three of its members. Ruy Lopez is having an affair with a white woman whose polite way of making love is like an ``egg salad sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise.'' So when a mysterious woman kisses him passionately and then disappears at his sister's wedding, Ruy becomes obsessed with finding her. He even prays to the Virgin Mary, only to be distracted by a fantasy about what Mary would talk about in bed (speaking of the Annunciation, she says, she asked the angel, ``Do you mean to tell me I'm supposed to give birth to this God guy without having sex?''). Manuel Caballos dreams of a career as a back-room political operator, sending a ``Mexican John F. Kennedy'' to the White House. Delfina Varela is a devout woman who suddenly decides that she has been apologizing for sins that she has not committed. Attempting to sell her soul to the devil for a car, she hopes for a Cadillac but would settle for a Chevy. Each character pursues his or her folly to its logical conclusion, and Robinson packs his prose with dry humor. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
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