By Luis Alberto Urrea
Place: Publisher & Year: El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press, 2002
Genres: Short stories, general fiction, magical realism
Intended audience: Adult
Number of pages: 146 (includes an afterword)
Settings: Range from Rosario to the outskirts of the city dump in Tijuana, Mexico and various locations in the US, including the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
Time period: 1970’s – contemporary
Description: This collection includes six stories which are followed by an afterword: “Mr. Medoza’s Paintbrush”, “Taped to the Sky”, “First Light”, “A Day in the Life”, “Father Returns from the Mountain”, “Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses”, and “Amazing Grace: Story And Writer”. In the author’s words – “the book is some kind of downward spiral. It starts out all full of jokes and ends in fire and poverty and death. It reflects an early fascination with escape, then deals with returning, then staying put and dealing with it, whatever it is” (p. 145). While this is an accurate description of the collection, it’s not a depressing spiral, but rather an uplifting one. In the non-joking stories, Urrea’s characters find grace and beauty in their situations. Continue reading