That Constant Coyote: California Stories

That Constant Coyote: California Stories

by Gerald W. Haslam
     
 

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Haslam’s stories are of the quintessential California of working people who struggle to make a living. He is their spokesperson—no matter what their color or language—because he, too, has chopped cotton under the searing sun, has toiled on drilling rigs in fog thick as oatmeal, has lived in a house where Spanish and English mingled. His writing

Overview


Haslam’s stories are of the quintessential California of working people who struggle to make a living. He is their spokesperson—no matter what their color or language—because he, too, has chopped cotton under the searing sun, has toiled on drilling rigs in fog thick as oatmeal, has lived in a house where Spanish and English mingled. His writing marks a boundary between the Golden State's stereotypes and the real people who persevere in seeking the California dream.

That Constant Coyote contains twenty-five stories in all, nineteen selections previously published and six new pieces. The stories included in this anthology tell us what life is like in the regions of California and the West where drudgery characterizes each day, where menudo para desayuno or biscuits and gravy replace champagne brunch. Delve into these pages and you will quickly find a set of fascinating characters who inhabit "the other California"—a place Haslam knows well and so deftly describes. Foreword by Ann Ronald. Western Literature Series.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Put a cowboy hat on a microphone and you have Gerald Haslam, whose short stories have recorded the landscapes, the working-class customers and, above all, the voices of Bakersfield area for two decades now. Okies, Indians, blacks and Latinos; ranchers, roughnecks and a few who got education but could never get the dust and oil and tule fog out of their blood—Haslam lets them all sound off.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Haslam’s recent collection of short stories, That Constant Coyote, represents one of the most powerful literary ensembles I’ve encountered in quite some time.” —Geoffrey DunnSanta Cruz Magazine

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Haslam's ( Okies: Selected Stories ) mostly lightweight collection of 25 stories offers some amusing tales, but the repeated use of shrewish female characters to create conflict wears thin long before the book ends. Typical are ``Dancing,'' where a man is caught between his aging parents: a father losing his ability to drive a car and a mother who would enjoy depriving him of it; and ``Joaquin,'' in which a petulant star given to sexual innuendo dismisses her leading men as California fakes, dubbing them ``Hebrew Spaniards.'' ``Tower Power'' shows two New Age charlatans, the Divine Len Schwartz and Love Sister Sunshine, as they compete for an upscale market of ``churchless-but-yearning commuters.'' ``Someone Else's Life'' recounts the lessons a boy learns from his father's foreman: on fishing and to ``remember what's real, and keep a tight hold on it.'' In ``Missing in Action,'' one of the few stories with a more serious theme, a son discovers how his father, caught up in anti-Japanese hysteria during World War II, was an accessory to burning the home of an innocent family sent away for internment. ( May )
Booknews
In 25 stories (19 previously published and 6 new) Haslam (English, Sonoma State U.) reveals a rural West with a startling variety of characters and dialects--the is the big city. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780874171617
Publisher:
University of Nevada Press
Publication date:
05/01/1990
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author


Gerald W. Haslam, the author of Straight White Male and other award-winning titles, is professor emeritus of English at Sonoma State University. He lives in Northern California.

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