El Milagro and Other Stories

Overview


Ticking clocks and tolling bells, scents of roses and warm tortillas: this is the barrio of years past as captured in the words of Patricia Preciado Martin. Cuentos, recuerdos, stories, memories—all are stirred into a simmering caldo by a writer whose love for her heritage shines through every page. Reminiscent of Like Water for Chocolate, the book is a rich mix of the simplest ingredients--food, family, tradition. We see Silviana striding to her chicken coop, triggering the "feathered pandemonium" of chickens ...
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Overview


Ticking clocks and tolling bells, scents of roses and warm tortillas: this is the barrio of years past as captured in the words of Patricia Preciado Martin. Cuentos, recuerdos, stories, memories—all are stirred into a simmering caldo by a writer whose love for her heritage shines through every page. Reminiscent of Like Water for Chocolate, the book is a rich mix of the simplest ingredients--food, family, tradition. We see Silviana striding to her chicken coop, triggering the "feathered pandemonium" of chickens who smell death in the air. We meet Elena, standing before the mirror in her wedding dress, and Teodoro Sánchez, who sleeps under the sky and smells of “chaparral and mesquite pollen and the stream bottom and the bone dust of generations. There’s the monsignor sitting on the edge of a sofa, sipping Nescafé from a china cup, and here is Sister Francisca "with her warm, minty breath" warning us away from impure thoughts. Be on your best behavior, too, in Tía Petra’s Edwardian parlor--la Doña Petrita, descended from conquistadores, might just deliver a tap on your head with her silver-handled walking stick. Then, with Mamacita, spend a summer afternoon bent over your embroidery with trembling hand and sweaty upper lip, and all the while wondering what in the world it feels like to be kissed. Intermingled with the author’s stories are collective memories of the barrio, tales halfway between heaven and earth that seem to connect barrio residents to each other and to their past. These cuentos are mystical and dreamy, peopled with ghosts and miracles and Aztec princesses dressed in feathers and gold. Come, sit down and have some salsa and a tortilla--fresh and homemade, it goes without saying; people who buy tortillas at the market "might as well move to Los Angeles, for they have already lost their souls." Then open the pages of this book. Help yourself to another feast of food and flowers, music and dancing, sunshine and moonlight—everything glorious and mundane, serious and humorous, earthly and spiritual, poignant and joyful, in la vida mexicoamericana.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A sentimental and humorous remembrance of a genteel way of life that no longer exists in the Tucson Mexican community . . . Barrio Anita comes alive again through her interpretation of the words, thoughts, and behavior of its former inhabitants." —Journal of Arizona History"A slender volume of lyrical vignettes and loving character studies . . . the stories are enlivened by colorful imagery and, in those spoken by their focal characters, racy individuality." —Kirkus Reviews"Her blend of Spanish words, details and metaphors offers an affectionate depiction of life in a changing neighborhood." —Publishers Weekly"This enchanting book will be enjoyed by young adults as well as adults." —Library Journal"Were it not for Martin, the only history of Tucson that would see the light of day might be one primarily about people who were wealthy, from 'back East' and Anglo. In El Milagro . . . Martin continues to shine a light into the dark little corners of Tucson's history, the stories about Hispanic Tucsonans who grew up perhaps momentarily poor but nurtured by a rich, empowering and supportive culture." —Tucson Citizen
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Here, Arizona writer Martin (Songs My Mother Sang to Me: An Oral History of Mexican American Women) presents "personal and collective memories" in plainspoken yet lyrical stories of her "mexicana life experiences" in the Los Angeles barrio. The painfully real and the irreal mix: in the fantastical tale "Plumas," a shy cafeteria employee is always late because she oversleeps while dreaming that she is Xochitl, a priestess of the Aztec creator goddess Tonantz'in; in "El Creciente," "third- and fourth-generation city slickers" go to a family reunion and get caught in a flood that carries past them "a phantom flotilla" of the town's dead. In the more strictly realistic "Dichos," a girl "drags her butt and feels like a martyr" when she goes to visit her great-grandmother, but once there is engulfed by the smells of cooking and the rhythm of the old woman's proverbial sayings. Though Martin overdoes the proverbs and cultural edification in some other stories, overall her blend of Spanish words, details and metaphors offers an affectionate depiction of life in a changing neighborhood. (Apr.)
Booknews
A new edition of the pulmonary testing text written for health care students, but also arranged as a reference for non-physicians performing the procedures. Each testing discussion begins with a history and pertinent background materials as well as physiology, instrumentation, technique, calculations, and the basic elements of interpretation and infection control. The test groups include spirometry, lung volumes, airway resistance, diffusing capacity, exercise, and bronchial provocation. A new innovation accompanying this edition is a computer assisted instruction disk containing interactive software featuring a pretest, instruction, self-assessment, and post-test. The nine appendices offer conversions, the mathematics of Boyle's Law, pediatric information, procedure manual instructions, and answers to the text questions. Includes some photographs, charts, graphs, and equations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816515486
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1996
  • Series: Camino del Sol
  • Pages: 92
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author


Patricia Preciado Martin, a native Arizonan, has been active in Tucson’s Mexican American community for many years and was the Arizona Library Association's Author of the Year in 1997
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Table of Contents

Needlework and Embroidery
Acknowledgments
The Miracle 3
Proverbs 9
The Bullfighter 17
Embroidery 23
Paradise 25
Pride 27
The Blessing 35
Queens 43
The Dancer 51
The Tortilla Maker 57
Feathers 63
The Virgin of Loneliness 73
The Flood 83
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