Dear Rafe: Mi Querido Rafa (Google eBook)
Arte Publico Press, Jan 1, 2005 - 266 pages
Welcome to Klail City, in Belken County, along the Mexico border in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. In the weeks leading up to the Democratic primary, Jehu Malacara chronicles the political rabble-rousing of Klail City's wealthiest citizens in letters to his cousin Rafe Buenrostro. Led by Arnold "Noddy" Perkins, the who's who of Belken County create a complex web of relationships. Wrangling bank loans, club memberships, and local politics, Perkins dominates the political and economic landscape of the community.
When Malacara turns up missing, and the writer, P. Galindo, begins interviewing the citizens, tales of deceit and betrayal float to the surface. From Jehu's knockout girlfriend Ollie to up-and-coming socialite Becky Escobar and even to old man Perkins himself, Hinojosa offers a feast of quirky characters and misdeeds.
Part epistolary, part mystery novel, the population of Klail City makes an indelible impression. With an introduction by Hinojosa scholar Manuel Martín-Rodríguez, a professor at University of California Merced, this volume combines for the first time the English and Spanish-language versions of the novel that creates a fictitious community that The New York Times compared to William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha and Gabriel García Márquez's Macondo.
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Page 9 - Public Notice: The offer to Ira appears to be on the level. Noddy Perkins' sister (more on her in a minute) came by the Bank einszwei-drei times, and where there's smoke, there's a political barbecue, right? Tidy-up time: you're wrong on the Escobar familial relationships, and I'll explain why in short order. Ira's an Escobar on his father's side (old Don Nemesio Escobar, who's related to the Prado families from Barrones, Tamaulipas. Got that?) But, Ira also happens to be a Leguizamon, sad to say,...
Page 7 - Jay, Jay, don't you see? County Commissioner Place Four, the/or one, Jay." (Yes, he calls me Jay). About all I could think of was to wonder what Noddy, the Ranch, the Bank, etc. were up to this time; I mean, they already own most of the land 'in these here parts' and they have ALL THAT MONEY, SON; so it's prob.