El Paso Del Norte: Stories on the Border

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University of Nevada Press, 2003 - Fiction - 138 pages
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The Chicano characters in Richard Yanez's debut story collection live in El Paso's Lower Valley but inhabit a number of borders-between two countries, two languages, and two cultures, between childhood and manhood, life and death. The teenaged narrator of Desert Vista copes with a new school and a first love while negotiating the boundaries between his family's tenuous middle-class status and the working-class community in which they have come to live. Tony Amoroza, the protagonist of Amoroza Tires, wrestles with the overwhelming grief from his wife's death until an unexpected legacy prompts him with new faith. Maria del Valle, La Loquita, the central character of Lucero's Mkt., crosses the border into madness while her neighbors watch, gossip, and try to offer-or refuse-aid. Yanez writes with perfect understanding of his borderland setting, a landscape where poverty and violence impinge on traditional Mexican-American values, where the signs of gang culture compete with the ageless rituals of the Church. His characters are vivid, unique, fully authentic, searching for purpose or identity, for hope or meaning, in lives that seem to deny them almost everything. Yanez's world

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With a quiet grace and the gravity of those whose lives are permanently on the edge the characters in Yaezs debut collection seven of eight stories published previously offer an unvarnished look at ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Richard Yanez has taught at Antioch College, Colorado College, and has been a Fellow at Saint Mary's College Center for Women's InterCultural Leadership.

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