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The rhythm of vision, the rhythm of dream, the rhythm of voices saturating the hot southwestern landscape. These are the rhythms of Ray Gonzalez, the haunting incantations of Turtle Pictures.
Gonzalez has forged a new Chicano manifesto, a cultural memoir that traces both his personal journey and the communal journey that Mexican Americans have traveled throughout this century, across this land. He interweaves lyrical poetry, prose poems, short fiction, and nonfiction commentary into a lush cacophony that traces the evolution of today's politically charged Chicano voices from the deafening silence of their ancestors.
Adopting the turtle as a metaphor for the Native American origins of border culture, Gonzalez frames this multitextured individual vision until it becomes a universal portrait of American life: a slow, ancient creature morphing into one of voracious rapidity. In wild and challenging surrealistic images, he hammers out a political statement from language that takes on a special urgency. Walking a fine line between lyricism and polemic, and succeeding where others have stumbled, he calls on Mexican Americans to return to their roots in order to avoid being swept up in American material culture.
Turtle Pictures is a complex body of work by a poet totally in tune with the spirit and nuances of language, imbued with a deep sense of craft and literary tradition. It invites readers to revel in its richness and vitality, to be caught up in its chantlike spirit, to luxuriate in its hauntingly beautiful passages. It is a work to devour, to savor, to return to, for it speaks with all the rhythms of the soul.
About the Author:
Ray Gonzalez is the author of Memory Fever, also published by the University of Arizona Press, as well as five volumes of poetry--including The Heat of Arrivals, winner of the 1997 PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award. He currently holds an endowed chair, the McKnight Land Grant Professorship, at the University of Minnesota.
About the Author
Ray Gonzalez is a professor of literature at the University of Minnesota, he is the author of 14 books and has also edited more than a dozen anthologies of poetry and fiction and is the recipient of the Carr P. Collins/Texas Institute of Letters Award, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the Latino Heritage Award, and the Minnesota Book Award.
What People are Saying About This
A tour de force in language. It is easily one of the best sequenced poetry/poetic prose books I have read in a long while....Chicano in nature, but American to its core.
(Virgil Suarez, author of The Cutter)
A truly dazzling performance....This kind of language hooks the reader and makes it hard to stop reading.
(Richard Shelton, author of Going Back to Bisbee)
Ray Gonzalez has something serious in him that pulls at the best in us, the reader. He can write like the owl and the panther.