Days of Plenty, Days of Want
For Patricia Preciado Martin, the past is every bit as real as the present. In Days of Plenty, Days of Want , past and present meet in a collection of strikingly crafted short stories.
Martin combines a strong sense of the poetic and a familiarity with her community in fiction that is as authentic as history. Transcending the legends and folklore that are an integral part of the stories, she shows us a heritage being irreverently pushed aside by "progress" yet passed along from person to person, century to century.
In the pages of this book are people so real you'll swear you've met them, situations so familiar you'll nod in recognition. In "Earth to Earth" we see the remains of a woman's entire lifetime being purchased and destroyed by land developers. "María de las Trenzas" offers a moving account of a young woman who fantasizes adventures to escape the tedium of her life. And "The Ruins" emphasizes the importance of preserving a heritage so that a people's history and culture will not be forgotten by future generations. Two of these stories have won prizes in Chicano literary contests; all will win the hearts of readers.
Through these stories, Patricia Preciado Martin reminds us that freedom and self-expression are important in fulfilling our potentialand, more important, that a large part of this process requires acknowledging our heritage as a priceless gift whose relevance in our lives cannot be ignored.
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