Victor Villase%C3%B1or. Atria /Beyond Words, $15 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-58270-273-5
Villaseñor's (Lion Eyes) sharp storytelling skills are on display in this reissue of his first novel, originally published in 1973. Roberto Garcia lives in the rural Michoacán mountains of Mexico. A nearby factory has polluted the air and destroyed crops, so Roberto earns a living for his family on a cattle ranch while his father wastes away in the local cantina. While in town, Roberto runs into a group of norteños, locals who make money working in the United States and are known by their nice clothes and Texan hats. Juan Aguilar, a friend of Roberto's father and one of the most experienced norteños, asks Roberto to go north with them. Realizing the money he could make and bring home to his family, Roberto agrees. On his epic journey north, Roberto stays in brutal and destitute temporary cities at the border and gets mixed up in a strike led by Cesar Chavez. When he receives word that his father has been killed by an old enemy, Roberto returns home, planning to avenge his father's death and consider what it really means to be a man. Interspersed with terse and bleak histories of Mexican migrant workers, Villaseñor's frank verisimilitude and story book tone combine to form an unforgettable read. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 236 pages - 978-1-55885-027-9
Paperback - 185 pages - 978-1-55885-490-1
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-1-55885-418-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-2277-1
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4391-9381-5
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