Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans: A Feast of Short Fiction

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Overview

As a helping of “down-home magical realism,” this collection of 16 short stories explores the human spirit inherent in the bilingual, bicultural world of the Texas-Mexico border. With a fresh sense of humor and human understanding, these stories skillfully bridge the gap between miracles and tragedies, prejudice and transcendence, and oppression and liberation. From the comical exploration of the hypocrisy expressed at funerals to the spiritual mission of a magical tortilla, the collection draws upon a wide range...

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Overview

As a helping of “down-home magical realism,” this collection of 16 short stories explores the human spirit inherent in the bilingual, bicultural world of the Texas-Mexico border. With a fresh sense of humor and human understanding, these stories skillfully bridge the gap between miracles and tragedies, prejudice and transcendence, and oppression and liberation. From the comical exploration of the hypocrisy expressed at funerals to the spiritual mission of a magical tortilla, the collection draws upon a wide range of emotions but comes together in a singular, powerful voice that reflects the holiness found in everyday life.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Adult/High School

Readers will be rewarded by the wisdom, wit, and hope in these 16 short stories. The selections range from the mystical appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe in "The Holy Tortilla" to the haunting yet empowering story of a victim in "The Stuff to Scream With." Other stories include the importance and power of cultural heritage in "Inheritance"; a frisky housewife and doubting husband in "Federico and Elfiria"; and the strong sense of community in "Black Leather Lu." What all of these stories have in common is the optimism that comes from taking emotional risks and forming relationships with family, friends, and community. Most of them take place in San Antonio and are peppered with Spanish words and phrases, giving the stories an authentic feeling of place. A well-organized glossary is provided. This collection will be sought after by both teens and teachers looking for strong characters and an eloquent voice in Chicana literature. While regional appeal will certainly drive purchase of this book, libraries looking to diversify and modernize their story collections will also want to consider adding this worthy title.-Lynn Rashid, Marriots Ridge High School, Marriotsville, MD

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780916727499
  • Publisher: Wings Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,386,799
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Carmen Tafolla is a writer, speaker, and actress whose work has appeared in more than 200 anthologies. She is the winner of the 1999 Art of Peace award for writing that furthers peace, justice, and human understanding. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014

    Author Carmen Tafolla presents us with a collection of short sto

    Author Carmen Tafolla presents us with a collection of short stories with a delicious blend of heart and poetry. Originating from a land of healing and wonder, these tales will make you feel as if you were listening to a Mexican curandera.

    I particularly enjoyed “La Santísima Maria Pilar, the Queen of Mean,” a story of a girl that ruins a beloved dish by hiding a dirty diaper in it. Who would want to be around this girl? I guess it’s true what they say: “…some men are so stupid they’ll fall for anything wearing a skirt. Anything.” (pg. 16)

    In “Invisible,” a woman sees beauty in herself by acknowledging the beauty in people that refused to see her.

    I did feel, however, that some stories were a tad bit eccentric, like “The Holy Tortilla,” a story of a simple tortilla reflecting an image of the Virgin Mary in its rising steam.

    Although beautifully written, these stories contained too much of a religious aspect that seemed too ludicrous at times. Still, I can’t imagine anyone not finding a story to relate or cherish somewhere in this collection.

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