A Shroud in the Family

Lionel Garcia, Author Arte Publico Press $9 (319p) ISBN 978-0-934770-71-2
Garcia's second novel is a colorful satire about a middle-aged Mexican-American attorney undergoing an identity crisis. Andy Garcia is caught between his traditional Chicano family and his modern and demanding Anglo wife (his second). Distraught, he consults a psychiatrist who tells Andy that he is confused because he is ""trying to see himself in two cultures.'' Andy sets out to find himself but instead creates a stir in Houston. He defends and hides an illegal immigrant accused of killing his spouse and in-laws; he parties wildly with promiscuous friends; and he attempts to seduce his frigid ex-wife. There are many hilarious moments in this rich and earthy novel, and Garcia poignantly illustrates the struggle of Hispanic immigrants to adapt to American culture. Unfortunately, while the author makes fun of anti-Chicano stereotypes, he perpetuates several anti-Semitic ones. Other than this flaw, the book is worth reading for its pathos and drama. (September)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
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