El Milagro and Other Stories

Patricia Preciado Martin, Author University of Arizona Press $11.95 (92p) ISBN 978-0-8165-1548-6
Here, Arizona writer Martin (Songs My Mother Sang to Me: An Oral History of Mexican American Women) presents ""personal and collective memories"" in plainspoken yet lyrical stories of her ""mexicana life experiences"" in the Los Angeles barrio. The painfully real and the irreal mix: in the fantastical tale ""Plumas,"" a shy cafeteria employee is always late because she oversleeps while dreaming that she is Xochitl, a priestess of the Aztec creator goddess Tonantz'in; in ""El Creciente,"" ""third- and fourth-generation city slickers"" go to a family reunion and get caught in a flood that carries past them ""a phantom flotilla"" of the town's dead. In the more strictly realistic ""Dichos,"" a girl ""drags her butt and feels like a martyr"" when she goes to visit her great-grandmother, but once there is engulfed by the smells of cooking and the rhythm of the old woman's proverbial sayings. Though Martin overdoes the proverbs and cultural edification in some other stories, overall her blend of Spanish words, details and metaphors offers an affectionate depiction of life in a changing neighborhood. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 92 pages - 978-0-8165-1547-9
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