Due out in March: Six Kinds of Sky

luis

A collection of short stories From Publishers Weekly: Urrea, best known for his hard-hitting nonfiction (Across the Wire, Nobody's Son), proves once again to be an eloquent and elegiac spokesman for the down-and-out and the disaffected in this collection of six stories whose settings range from Mexico to the Sioux nation in South Dakota. His protagonists are usually Hispanics and Native Americans whose struggles are documented most touchingly in one of the two longer stories, "A Day in the Life," which describes the plight of a poverty-striken group of garbage pickers whose lives are torn apart by tragedy after they are forced to move from Mexico City to Tijuana. Urrea turns his attention to the brokenhearted in "Tapes to the Sky," in which a man who takes to the road after his wife leaves him breaks down in the middle of Wyoming, where he learns the reason for his journey from the Native American man who helps him. He offers a different perspective on the Native American experience in "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which describes the sorrow of a man who marries a Sioux woman who succumbs to alcoholism. While "Father Returns From the Mountain" is a touching story of a man's attempt to come to terms with his father's death in an auto accident. Urrea is a poetic writer who draws strong characters and wears his literary compassion on his sleeves, and he uses all of his gifts to full advantage here.

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Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

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