Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration / Edition 1

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Sam Quinones's first book, True Tales From Another Mexico, was acclaimed for the way it peered into the corners of that country for its larger truths and complexities.

Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream, Quinones's second collection of nonfiction tales, does the same for one of the most important issues of our time: the migration of Mexicans to the United States.

Quinones has covered the world of Mexican immigrants for the last thirteen years-from Chicago to Oaxaca, Michoacan to southeast Los Angeles, Tijuana to Texas. Along the way, he has uncovered stories that help illuminate ail that Mexicans seek when they come north, how they change their new country, and are changed by it.

Here are the stories of the Henry Ford of velvet painting in Ciudad Juarez, the emergence of opera in Tijuana, the bizarre goings-on in the L.A. suburb of South Gate, and of the drug-addled colonies of Old World German Mennonites in Chihuahua.

Through it all winds the rale of Delfino Juarez, a young construction worker, and modern-day Huckleberry Finn, who had to leave his village to change it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Quinones takes a keen look the migrant economy—both the rural to urban flow within Mexico, and between the U.S. and Mexico—in these nine skillful, moving stories. He devotes the first, middle and last chapters to Delfino Juárez, a construction worker who left his mountain village in Veracruz to work at Mexico City job sites when he was 12 years old before making his way to Arizona through the Sonora desert, a journey that almost cost him his life. Delfino "wanted more from life than simply not to starve," and his pluck shines through the narratives that Quinones (True Tales from Another Mexico) layers with the sociological, economic and historical context of 60 years of immigration. Other standouts among these very fine pieces of literary journalism, include "The Tomato King," about Andrés Bermúdez, a longtime U.S. resident who returns to his native county of Jerez to run for mayor; and "Delfino II: Diez in the Desert," a nuanced portrait of the human trafficking that takes place at the border. The jewel of the collection, "A Soccer Season in Southwest Kansas," depicts the sport's transformative effect—both on the immigrant children and on the High Plains town. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Luis A. Urrea
Sam Quinones is a border legend. For those in the know, his reportage has been cause for celebration. Now, he takes us behind the lines and undercover. He puts a human face on ‘illegal immigration,' and he gives us stunning stories of survival and dread. However, he accomplishes something more valuable than a mere parade of sensational set pieces—Quinones starts to put the complex issues in the light of understanding and hard-won wisdom. (Luis A. Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway and The Hummingbird's Daughter)
Library Journal

In this collection of "tales," freelance journalist Quinones (True Tales from Another Mexico) illustrates the astounding determination, resourcefulness, and entrepreneurial spirit of many Mexicans who seek a different way of life, whether within their country of birth or by moving to the United States. Stories range from the rise of the Tijuana Opera to the peculiar politics of South Gate, a Los Angeles suburb, from the impact of velvet painting on the natives of Juárez to immigrants who earn money to build American-style homes back in their native villages, although they might never live in them. Particularly striking is the perspective Quinones offers, having lived south of the border for many years, on how political corruption keeps so many of Mexico's citizens poor and the country dependent on the United States. As in his last book, his gift for storytelling brings the Mexican mindset to life and provides important cultural and economic context. While the pieces don't always flow smoothly from one to the next, the rich picture evoked overall is fascinating. Recommended for Chicano studies and larger academic collections.
—Elizabeth L. Winter

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826342546
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 5/16/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 326
  • Sales rank: 720,295
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Quinones lived in Mexico for ten years writing freelance for a variety of U.S. publications. In 1998 he was a recipient of the Alicia Patterson Fellowship. In 2001 he published a highly acclaimed collection of stories about contemporary Mexico, True Tales from Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino, and the Bronx (UNM Press). He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Sheila, and daughter, Kate, and is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. He can be contacted through
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Antonio's Gun     1
Delfino I: A Sunday Afternoon Dream in the Alameda     15
The Tomato King     37
The Saga of South Gate     65
Doyle and Chuy Wrap Juarez in Velvet     117
Delfino II: Diez in the Desert     147
The Beautiful Insanity of Enrique Fuentes     163
Atolinga     203
A Soccer Season in Southwest Kansas     219
Delfino III: Alive in L.A.     281
Epilogue: Leaving Mexico     293
Story Updates     311
Acknowledgments     315
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