Casares expands the clean, tender prose of his debut collection, Brownsville, into a winning novel. In an American town just north of the Mexican border, the estranged Rosales brothers are equally ambivalent and inwardly volatile. Don Fidencio is snappish, sickly and endearing: he refuses to admit his own incontinence, smokes cigarettes against his nurses' wishes and identifies people, often cruelly, by their physical appearances (such as "The Gringo With The Ugly Finger"). Meanwhile, his widower brother, Celestino, a diabetic, feels "adrift toward the edge of a flat world." He's slowly drawn out, thanks to his Mexican cleaning woman, Socorro, who travels from "the other side" every day, wishing that the geographical and social borders between them could be "gently... swept aside." The mysterious reason for the brothers' estrangement forces the three characters to push back from one another outwardly while returning, internally, to their own weaknesses, and their distinct voices pick up the thread of narration so easily that, from even mundane details, it's plain to see how love, borders, death-and most of all, willful ignorance-are part of everyday reawakenings. With Casares's blessing, you can laugh at them all. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Amigoland: A Novelby Oscar Casares
In a small town on the Mexican border live two brothers, Don Fidencio and Don Celestino. Stubborn and independent, they now must face the facts: they are old, and they have let a family argument stand between them for too long. Don Celestino's good-natured housekeeper encourages him to make amends--while he still can. They secretly liberate Don Fidencio from his nursing home and travel into Mexico to solve the mystery at the heart of their dispute: the family legend of their grandfather's kidnapping. As the unlikely trio travels, the brothers learn it's never too late for a new beginning.
With winsome prose and heartfelt humor, Oscar Casares's debut novel of family lost and found radiates with generosity and grace and confirms the arrival of a uniquely talented new writer.
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Meet the Author
Oscar Casares gave up a successful career in advertising to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. He received an MFA at Iowa and his stories have appeared in The Iowa Review, Colorado Review, Northwest Review, and Threepenny Review. He is the author of the short story collection, Brownsville, and lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife.
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