Heart of Aztlan: A Novel

Open Road Media
2
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A novel of myth, magic, and migration set in a mid-twentieth-century New Mexico barrio, by the award-winning author of Bless Me, Ultima.

Today is the day Benjie Chávez and his family will leave the town of Guadalupe behind. Far from the land of the eagle and the nopal, they travel west to find a new home of opportunity. But adapting to the big, impersonal city of Albuquerque is no easy task. As both life and death come to the barrio, a blind seer named Crispin arrives in the Chávezes’ world. At first everyone dismisses his stories about an elusive place called Aztlán as the ramblings of an old man. But gradually, they come to realize that he can see what they cannot.
 
With his potent blend of earthy prose and magic realism, bestselling author Rudolfo Anaya excavates his country’s legends to tell a spellbinding story of myth and migration, love and loss. Heart of Atzlán is a hopeful and heartbreaking novel about people in search of the shimmering mirage of a better life—and the land that keeps calling them back.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Jun 2, 2015
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Pages
210
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ISBN
9781504011778
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Cultural Heritage
Fiction / Hispanic & Latino
Fiction / Magical Realism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In the border shantytown of Ysleta, Mexican immigrants Pilar and Cuauhtémoc Martínez strive to teach their four children to forsake the drugs and gangs of their neighborhood. The family’s hardscrabble origins are just the beginning of this sweeping new novel from Sergio Troncoso.

Spanning four decades, this is a story of a family’s struggle to become American and yet not be pulled apart by a maelstrom of cultural forces. As a young adult, daughter Julieta is disenchanted with Catholicism and converts to Islam. Youngest son Ismael, always the bookworm, is accepted to Harvard but feels out of place in the Northeast where he meets and marries a Jewish woman. The other boys—Marcos and Francisco—toil in their father’s old apartment buildings, serving as the cheap labor to fuel the family’s rise to the middle class. Over time, Francisco isolates himself in El Paso while Marcos eventually leaves to become a teacher, but then returns, struggling with a deep bitterness about his work and marriage. Through it all, Pilar clings to the idea of her family and tries to hold it together as her husband’s health begins to fail.

This backdrop is then shaken to its core by the historic events of 2001 in New York City. The aftermath sends shockwaves through this newly American family. Bitter conflicts erupt between siblings and the physical and cultural spaces between them threaten to tear them apart. Will their shared history and once-common dreams be enough to hold together a family from Ysleta, this wicked patch of dust?
Winner of the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature

“Stunning.”—Newsweek

With the same audacity with which John Steinbeck wrote about migrant worker conditions in The Grapes of Wrath and T.C. Boyle in The Tortilla Curtain, Viramontes presents a moving and powerful vision of the lives of the men, women, and children who endure a second-class existence and labor under dangerous conditions in California's fields.
 
At the center of this powerful tale is Estrella, a girl about to cross the perilous border to womanhood. What she knows of life comes from her mother, who has survived abandonment by her husband in a land that treats her as if she were invisible, even though she and her children pick the crops of the farms that feed its people. But within Estrella, seeds of growth and change are stirring. And in the arms of Alejo, they burst into a full, fierce flower as she tastes the joy and pain of first love. Pushed to the margins of society, she learns to fight back and is able to help the young farmworker she loves when his ambitions and very life are threatened in a harvest of death.
 
Infused with the beauty of the California landscape and shifting splendors of the passing seasons juxtaposed with the bleakness of poverty, this vividly imagined novel is worthy of the people it celebrates and whose story it tells so magnificently. The simple lyrical beauty of Viramontes' prose, her haunting use of image and metaphor, and the urgency of her themes all announce Under the Feat of Jesus as a landmark work of American fiction.
In this "raucous, moving, and necessary" (San Francisco Chronicle) story by a Pulitzer Prize finalist, the De La Cruzes, a family on the Mexican-American border, celebrate two of their most beloved relatives during a joyous and bittersweet weekend.
National Bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist
A New York Times Notable Book / One of the Best Books of the Year from National Public Radio, American Library Association, San Francisco Chronicle, BookPage, Newsday, BuzzFeed, Kirkus Reviews, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Literary Hub
"All we do, mija, is love. Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death."
In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies, transforming the weekend into a farewell doubleheader. Among the guests is Big Angel's half brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life.
Across two bittersweet days in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many inspiring tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought these citizens to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home.
Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.

"Epic . . . Rambunctious . . . Highly entertaining." --New York Times Book Review
"A raucous, moving, and necessary book . . . Intimate and touching . . . the stuff of legend." --San Francisco Chronicle
"An immensely charming and moving tale." --Boston Globe
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