"I've traveled a lot of roads, but never alone. My relations are with me," says Billie McKenney, one of the matriarchs of the complex family of Choctaws searching for peace as the white world rapidly encroaches on their tribal land, politics, and values. In her first collection of stories, Native American writer Devon A. Mihesuah ...
Perhaps you know them for their deer dances or for their rich Easter ceremonies, or perhaps only from the writings of anthropologists or of Carlos Castaneda. But now you can come to know the Yaqui Indians in a whole new way.
Anita Endrezze, born in California of a Yaqui father and a European mother, has written a multilayered work that interweaves personal, mythical, and historical views of the Yaqui people. Throwing Fire at the Sun, Water at the Moon is a blend of ancient myths, poetry, journal extracts, short stories, and essays that tell her people's story from the early 1500s to the present, and her family's story over the past five generations. Reproductions of Endrezze's paintings add an additional dimension to her story and illuminate it with striking visual imagery.
Endrezze has combed history and legend to gather stories of her immediate family and her mythical ancient family, the two converging in the spirit of storytelling. She tells Aztec and Yaqui creation stories, tales of witches and seductresses, with recurring motifs from both Yaqui and Chicano culture. She shows how Christianity has deeply infused Yaqui beliefs, sharing poems about the Flood and stories of a Yaqui Jesus. She re-creates the coming of the Spaniards through the works of such historical personages as Andrés Pérez de Ribas. And finally she tells of those individuals who carry the Yaqui spirit into the present day. People like the Esperanza sisters, her grandmothers, and others balance characters like Coyote Woman and the Virgin of Guadalupe to show that Yaqui women are especially important as carriers of their culture.
Greater than the sum of its parts, Endrezze's work is a new kind of family history that features a startling use of language to invoke a people and their past--a time capsule with a female soul. Written to enable her to understand more about her ancestors and to pass this understanding on to her own children, Throwing Fire at the Sun, Water at the Moon helps us gain insight not only into Yaqui culture but into ourselves as well.
It brings a mother to her knees to plead for her son's safe return from war. It draws a grown woman back to the site of cherished childhood memories. It keeps the passion and romance of youth alive in an older woman's heart. It brings together heiresses and busboys, lawyers and chambermaids. Only love, the magical elixir that ...
In the hot Arizona desert of the late 1950s, Mike McGurk comes of age in one big, riotous gush. Trapped pumping gas at a desolate roadstop, he yearns for things he has never known: love, hope, and the soft, white calmness of snow.
Mike's world is filled with a menagerie of quirky characters, who cope with the weight of their ...
For poet Ray Gonzalez, growing up in El Paso during the 1960s was a time of loneliness and vulnerability. He encountered discrimination in high school not only for being Latino but also for being a non-athlete in a school where sports were important. Like many young people, he found diversion in music; unlike most, he found solace ...
"She asked me if I liked them. And what could I say? They were wonderful." From the very beginning of Sergio Troncoso's celebrated story "Angie Luna," we know we are in the hands of a gifted storyteller.
Born of Mexican immigrants, raised in El Paso, and now living in New York City, Troncoso has a rare knack for celebrating life. Writing in a straightforward, light-handed style reminiscent of Grace Paley and Raymond Carver, he spins charming tales that reflect his experiences in two worlds.
Troncoso's El Paso is a normal town where common people who happen to be Mexican eat, sleep, fall in love, and undergo epiphanies just like everyone else. His tales are coming-of-age stories from the Mexican-American border, stories of the working class, stories of those coping with the trials of growing old in a rapidly changing society. He also explores New York with vignettes of life in the big city, capturing its loneliness and danger.
Beginning with Troncoso's widely acclaimed story "Angie Luna," the tale of a feverish love affair in which a young man rediscovers his Mexican heritage and learns how much love can hurt, these stories delve into the many dimensions of the human condition. We watch boys playing a game that begins innocently but takes a dangerous turn. We see an old Anglo woman befriending her Mexican gardener because both are lonely. We witness a man terrorized in his New York apartment, taking solace in memories of lost love.
Two new stories will be welcomed by Troncoso's readers. "My Life in the City" relates a transplanted Texan's yearning for companionship in New York, while "The Last Tortilla" returns to the Southwest to explore family strains after a mother's death--and the secret behind that death. Each reflects an insight about the human heart that has already established the author's work in literary circles.
Troncoso sets aside the polemics about social discomfort sometimes found in contemporary Chicano writing and focuses instead on the moral and intellectual lives of his characters. The twelve stories gathered here form a richly textured tapestry that adds to our understanding of what it is to be human.
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. ...
Bisbee, Arizona, queen of the western copper camps, 1917. The protagonists in a bitter strike: the Wobblies (the IWW), the toughest union in the history of the West; and Harry Wheeler, the last of the two-gun sheriffs. In this class-war western, they face each other down in the streets of Bisbee, pitting a general strike against ...
Of all of the works of N. Scott Momaday, The Names may be the most personal. A memoir of his boyhood in Oklahoma and the Southwest, it is also described by Momaday as "an act of the imagination. When I turn my mind to my early life, it is the imaginative part of it that comes first and irresistibly into reach, and of that part I take hold." Complete with family photos, The Names is a book that will captivate readers who wish to experience the Native American way of life.
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