Ask a Mexican!

Gustavo Arellano, Author . Scribner $20 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4165-4002-1

In Arellano's popular Orange County Weekly column "¡Ask a Mexican!" now widely syndicated and gathered in this acerbic volume, he answers serious, curious, and sometimes hateful but mostly irreverent questions about Mexicans. This book compiles what are presumably the best question-and-answer exchanges over the past two years, under topics including language, sex, immigration and food. Arellano wittily defuses bigotry and mocks stereotypes with his often well-researched replies. To the inquiry on the authenticity of flour vs. corn tortillas, he explains that the Spaniards created the former. "Why do Mexicans wear their clothes when swimming?" is a recurring question among Arellano's readers; his answer: good manners. In response to the vitriolic "What is it about the word illegal that Mexicans don't understand," he points out that U.S. employers don't understand the word either. The author's relentless irony and reclamation of derogatory terms (e.g., "wab," the Orange County version of wetback) is not for the faint of heart, but this approach is a welcome reprieve from common tiptoeing around the fraught subjects of race relations and immigration. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/26/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4001-2464-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-0464-2
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MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5464-7
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Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61574-601-9
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4165-6206-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-3464-9
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