144 pp. | paper only | $13.00
by Ricardo Pimentel
and Señora Gaeta have seven daughters with the first name
María, so they joyously welcome the birth of a son, Ruti.
But a freak accident when he is five leaves Ruti retarded. In their
small Mexican village, tradition and superstition direct the course
of daily life, and Ruti becomes the village outcast, more at home
with animals than people, except for his family, which he staunchly
defends. The vicious attempted rape of his favorite sister, María
María, forces the family to move to the United States, where
they settle in San Bernardino, California. Here the Gaeta family
struggles to assimilate to life in the barrio during World War II.
Their experiences reflect those of a generation of Mexican immigrants
welcomed as cheap labor and yet hated and mistrusted as outsiders.
Pimentel was born in San Bernardino, California. He has worked
as a newspaper reporter and editor in California, Washington, D.C.,
and Arizona and is currently a columnist for The Arizona Republic
in Phoenix. His first novel was House With Two Doors (1997),
also published by Bilingual Press.