cover image Mirrors Beneath the Earth: Short Fiction by Chicano Writers

Mirrors Beneath the Earth: Short Fiction by Chicano Writers

. Curbstone Press, $13.95 (331pp) ISBN 978-1-880684-02-3

In a story by editor Gonzalez, Tony Marin, a Chicano trying to write the ``real'' history of Texas, encounters a psychic who has found the spirits of Mexican soldiers trapped in The Alamo. Tony realizes, however, that even a psychic could never change Americans' mythical perceptions of that historic place. Gonzalez ( After Aztlan ) here draws together writers who, unlike Tony and his fellow Texans, understand one another. The common and often humorous theme running through these tales is that things could always be worse. In Benjamin Alire Saenz's story, for example, a 15-year-old Salvadoran refugee says his father told him ``maybe men were born to kill because he'd heard that in the United States people killed each other all the time, and there wasn't even a war on''; the son adds, however, that he hasn't seen any killings since he's been here. Lucha Corpi's piece about a boy found strangled in the bushes is a lyrical gem that could only have been written by someone deeply rooted in a milieu in which crime is all too common. The craft of these 31 writers (from newcomers to well-knowns such as Sandra Cisneros and Rudolfo Anaya) substantiates Gonzalez's claim that short fiction is ``perhaps the strongest genre in Chicano literature today.'' (Nov.)