Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyA poet and editor of anthologies, Gonzalez ( Without Discovery: A Native Response to Columbus ) offers 29 essays and vignettes ranging from his 1960s boyhood in El Paso to his confrontation with his Chicano identity. His youthful practice of cutting tails off lizards--part of ``the timeless drama between the hunter and prey''--reminds him of Vietnam veteran accounts of cutting ears off dead Viet Cong. A trip to the ``zoo-like'' tourist atmosphere of the Taos Pueblo provokes a sense of shame that propels him to the shrine of writer D. H. Lawrence. An ode to the stew-like dish menudo leads Gonzalez to marvel, ``You slurp it like an anteater slurps ants. . . . No one takes their time eating menudo.'' A few essays highlight a broad American-ness, such as Gonzalez's memoir of discovering rock music at Woolworth's in 1964. Though this is an autobiography of sorts, the essays never acquire synergistic power, since Gonzalez provides few autobiographical details, and too many of the pieces are slight. Nevertheless, he writes fluidly, and some essays resonate, such as the final one, which travels deftly and impressionistically ``through my desert of hope and vision.'' (May)
- Broken Moon Press
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Sandra CisnerosThese moving essays bring us closer to understanding how the timeless landscape of the desert is also the infinite train of the heart.
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