Remembering to Say 'mouth' Or 'face': Stories

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Fiction Collective Two, 1993 - Fiction - 156 pages
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In this award-winning collection of short stories, Guatemalan American Omar S. Casta eda uses a unique and richly textured mixture of magic realism and "attack dog fiction" to explore the wrenching conflicts of biculturality. The stories in Remembering to Say 'Mouth' or 'Face' depict the troubled and often darkly humorous lives of people struggling against the slow tectonics of violence. The collection opens in the United States, where drugs and self-annihilating rage overwhelm one of Casta eda's most sharply drawn and subtly sarcastic narrators. In other stories characters in search of their Mayan roots inhabit both real and mythical Central American landscapes. The characters in these stories know both Americas but find a home in neither. They confront violence and vanquish, at least for themselves, those deep ills caused by living with racism. Buffeted by cultural conflicts and animated by the desire to construct a new language of cultural translations, they embark on spiritual journeys that ultimately enable them to recover and transform Guatemalan traditions.

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Remembering to say "mouth" or "face": stories

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Winner of the 1993 Nilon Award for Excellence in Minority Fiction, Castaneda's stunning collection of stories--which is based on the Mayan epic Popul Vuh --depicts the sometimes violent clash of ... Read full review

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About the author (1993)

Born in Guatemala of ladino parents, Omar. S. Castaneda moved to the United States at age three and grew up in the Midwest, where he was naturalized at age eleven. He teaches at Western Washtington University, where he directs The Hubless Wheel, a reading series that features minority and ethnic writers. Castaneda is the author of Cunuman, Among the Volcanoes, and Abuela's Weave; and he coedited New Visions: Fiction by Florida Writers.

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