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From Barnes & NobleIn Skyhorse's world, there's Los Angeles, and there's Echo Park, and in his first novel, he describes his own (fictionalized) kingdom in 1980s East L.A., with all its sights, smells, and inhabitants. They'll tell you that their Mexican heritage doesn't define them — they're mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters. With a fierce determination, they've run headlong into the American dream, slipping through the unfamiliar country to wash our clothes, cook our food, and cut our grass. Their lives hover in the narrow margin between intimacy and invisibility: the cleaning lady who witnesses multiple indiscretions, the transit worker whose life is changed by an altercation on his bus, the trajabadores waiting in a sweltering parking lot to be picked for a construction job. The American dream may be there for the taking, but the "illegal" residents of Echo Park can't be too picky about the kind of work they do.
The intersecting voices of these characters form a vibrant tapestry akin to that of Paul Auster's Brooklyn or Sandra Cisneros's San Antonio. In The Madonnas of Echo Park, Skyhorse immerses readers in a foreign world so deeply that it becomes instantly familiar. With poverty, despair, and loneliness as one side of a coin and the promise of America as the other, the men and women of Echo Park come to life in this wholly original novel from a singular talent.