It is a place where men and women work hard to create better lives for their families, where people sometimes carry grudges against their neighbors, where love blossoms only to fade, and the only certainty is that life holds surprises. Along the U. Stubborn and independent, they now must face the facts: they are old, and they have let a family argument stand between them for too long. After Don Celestino becomes romantically involved with his housekeeper, she convinces him to make amends—while he still can. In time, a trip that starts off as an attempt to uncover the past leads each of them to a new beginning. A stunning and timely novel about a Mexican-American family in Brownsville, Texas, who reluctantly becomes involved in smuggling immigrants into the United States.
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Texan Casares debuts with nine stories about economic hardship and emotional resourcefulness in a cross-cultural zone straddling the US-Mexico border. The pieces here—set in Brownsville, way, way Young men trying to be good fathers, irate neighbors who recant and repent by the end of the story, and moms dispensing sound advice in tense situations. Easy to read at a single sitting, the Brownsville : Stories.
Oscar Casares. Just about perfect" Entertainment Weekly : Brownsville is the collection that established Oscar Casares as one of the leading voices in the literature of the modern Southwest. At the country's edge, on the Mexican border, Brownsville, Texas, is a town like many others.
It is a place where people work hard to create better lives for their children, where people bear grudges against their neighbors, where love blossoms only to fade, and where the only real certainty is that life holds surprises.
In his sparkling debut, Oscar Casares creates a cast of unforgettable characters confronting everyday possibilities and contradictions: Diego, an eleven-year-old whose job at a fireworks stand teaches him a lesson in defiance; Bony, a young man whose discovery of a monkey's head on his lawn drives a wedge between him and his parents; Lola, whose stolen bowling ball offers an unlikely chance for change.
The achievement of Brownsville lies in its remarkably honest portrayal of these lives -- the lives of people whose dreams and yearnings and regrets are at once unique and universal. Brownsville resembles early Steinbeck work more than anything else. He is the author of the short story collection Brownsville and lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife.
In the funniest story in the collection, "Chango," an unemployed year-old, Bony, living with his parents and subsisting on a steady diet of beers, finds a monkey head in his yard and begins to think of it as his buddy and mascot. Alas, his unsympathetic parents want him to throw it away. You want to live with monkeys, I'll drive you to the zoo. Come on, get in the car, I'll take you right now. Probing underneath the surface of Tex-Mex culture, Casares's stories, with their wisecracking, temperamental, obsessive middle-aged men and their dramas straight from neighborhood gossip are in the direct line of descent from Mark Twain and Ring Lardner.
Oscar Cásares: On Writing A Story About Stories
Short story writer Oscar Casares is celebrating a homecoming of sorts, returning to his hometown of Brownsville, Texas, after years living in Austin, Minneapolis, and Iowa City. Casares got his bachelor's degree at the University of Texas before taking an advertising job in Minnesota. It was there he started writing short stories, based largely on his childhood and adolescence in the Rio Grande Valley. Casares received an M.
Casares also teaches creative writing at the University of Texas in Austin, where he has resided on and off for most of the last three decades. I caught up with Casares in late March, and we talked about roots, family, Texas, and the all-encompassing importance of stories. Your style is transparent, as if your words have always been there, like a mountain or something, but still light as air. What are your influences? Where does that style come from? I had two uncles who would come over to the house and hold court. It was only later, much later, when I started writing.
Texan Casares debuts with nine stories about economic hardship and emotional resourcefulness in a cross-cultural zone straddling the US-Mexico border. The pieces here—set in Brownsville, way, way Young men trying to be good fathers, irate neighbors who recant and repent by the end of the story, and moms dispensing sound advice in tense situations. Easy to read at a single sitting, the Brownsville : Stories. Oscar Casares.