Little Mocos

Little Mocos

by John Paul Jaramillo


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Southern Colorado is home to “little mocos” Manito and his cousin Bea, both curious and sensitive, both tragically doomed and longing to live anywhere else. United in their agreement to escape onion fields and Ortiz family ghosts, the two stumble into their teen years with a stubborn brand of bad decisions and petty crimes. Against the cold and gray backdrop of the looming steel mill, Manito and Bea eventually piece together the unbending reality of their multi-generational family trauma, including an unanticipated close connection to local murderer Raymond “Cornbread” Vigil. The Ortiz family stories are minimal and elliptical in Little Mocos and reflect heartbreak and bleakness, but they also mirror strength and resiliency. Manito does not simply recover painful memories from his family; he begins to re-envision them. It is how Manito finds his own way to manhood and a glimpse of life outside of the county of orphans. John Paul Jaramillo, the award-winning author of this novel in stories, was listed as a Top 10 Young Latino Author to Watch and Read by Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature in 2013.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780998705712
Publisher: Twelve Winters Press
Publication date: 06/25/2017
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

John Paul Jaramillo was born and raised in Southern Colorado. At Oregon State University he earned his MFA in creative writing (fiction) and currently works as Professor of English in the Arts and Humanities Department of Lincoln Land Community College-Springfield, Illinois. His stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including the Acentos Review, Palabra, A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art and Somos en Escrito. In 2013 his collection The House of Order was named an International Latino Book Award Finalist. In 2013 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its Top 10 New Latino Authors to Watch and Read. His writing explores the Southern Colorado steel industry and neighborhoods as well as the link between family, trauma, and place. As Mary Jean Porter writes, "Jaramillo is writing about working in Southern Colorado farm fields, driving and drinking beer and smoking pot; visiting family members in the state penitentiary; about tattooed pregnant girls, dirty kids in laundromats and their desperate mothers, back through several generations. What saves these stories is the grace in which they are written."

Table of Contents

Part One — Huerfano County

1. Animales | 5

2. Relles’ Boys | 12

3. Little Mocos | 20

4. Cornbread | 32

Part Two — The Old Folks

5. Birthdays | 47

6. Bear and Peaches | 55

7. Burma | 62

8. Dog Track | 65

9. Korea | 71

10. The Crew | 73

11. Arkansas Flood | 84

12. Chingazos | 91

Part Three — Bruna and Neto

13. Drive | 109

14. Retreat | 113

15. Yesteryear | 118

16. Backyard Marriage | 133

17. Wrecks | 143

Part Four — Pinche Murder Mysteries

18. Rudy Martinez | 153

19. Cornbread in the Attic | 161

20. Lunch | 166

21. Beer and Milk | 171

22. Hamburgers | 176

23. Descansos | 186

24. Laundromat | 193

25. House of Order | 202

Part Five — Half Adult

26. Dead Jefita | 215

27. State Hospital | 218

28. Segundos | 229

29. Apartment in Oregon | 239

30. Long Distance | 245

Part Six — San Luis Valley

31. Trip Home | 257

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