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The Last Tortilla & Other Stories by Sergio…
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The Last Tortilla & Other Stories

by Sergio Troncoso

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In the introduction to the collection of short stories, Ilan Stavans comments about Troncoso – “He makes art out of ordinariness.” I couldn’t say it better.

In the title story, siblings struggle to celebrate a traditional Christmas following the death of their mother, and their father’s remarriage to a woman the children do not like. [i]Angie Luna[/i] tells the story of a college student home for the holidays who falls for an “older” woman who lives across the border in Juarez. In [i]Punching Chickens[/i] a teenage boy recounts his first job. In another story, a chubby boy struggles with teasing by schoolmates and dreams of getting a 10-speed bike. An elderly couple struggle to dispel each other’s demons and fears of impending death in [i]The Abuelita[/i]. My favorite story is probably [i]The Gardener[/i], wherein an elderly widow tricks her equally aged gardener into accepting her invitation to share her home.

Troncoso gives us stories of Mexican-American life along the US / Mexico border, but also stories that will speak to all of us. He covers universal themes of love, death, coming-of-age and family life, but also touches on the clash between Mexicans living in America vs those still in Mexico, and the difficulty faced by young Latinos who don’t speak Spanish but don’t feel they fit into the American mainstream either. A couple of these stories were very hard to read because of their difficult subject matter (home invasion, violence among children), a couple left me dissatisfied with what I felt was an abrupt ending. A few of these stories were truly wonderful. The star rating reflects an average across the collection.
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  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 2 of 2
"Troncoso is a master storyteller....Readers’ hearts will be touched by episodes of loss, tragedy, and love."
added by SergioTroncoso | editMulticultural Review
 
"An earthy collection....These stories are richly satisfying."
added by SergioTroncoso | editPublishers Weekly
 
"Each story is an organic whole, full of characters who have lives as complete as the reader’s....Enthusiastically recommended."
added by SergioTroncoso | editBooklist
 
"Troncoso really shines when he writes about El Paso and the life of Mexican-Americans there. He has the gift for writing from his heart outward into his reader's heart."
added by SergioTroncoso | editThe Bloomsbury Review
 

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Sergio Troncosoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stavans, IlanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
Tres cuentos sobre la frontera por Sergio Troncoso, que es hijo de inmigrantes mexicanos. Sus antepasados son de Chihuahua, pero a él le tocó nacer y crecer en Ysleta, Texas, a unos cuantos metros de la frontera con Ciudad Juárez. Es autór de varios libros, incluyendo The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, que ganó el Premio Aztlán como el mejor libro escrito por un nuevo escritor chicano.

En “Angie Luna,” un joven chicano se regresa a El Paso, Texas durante un verano, y se enamora de una mexicana. Esta aventura inesperada causa que Victor se pregunte a donde pertenece, en los Estados Unidos o en México.

¿Que pasa cuando la familia Márquez pierde su mamá? El niño Juanito la encuentra en la noche en sus sueños, pero en el día la nueva madrastra está en la casa. Su hermana Alejandra está entre quedarse para cuidar a Juanito y irse por su propio lado. ¿Quien sabe el secreto de la muerte de la mamá ausente en “La Última Tortilla”?

En Nueva York, un hombre está amarado en su departamento, víctima de un robo y asalto en curso. No puede escaparse Carlos, y lo único que puede hacer es pensar de Sofia, y los errores que hizo para destruir este amor. ¿Lo salvará “Recordando Posibilidades”?

Troncoso es autór también de Crossing Borders: Personal Essays y las novelas The Nature of Truth y From This Wicked Patch of Dust, que fue nombrado un ‘Libro Notable’ por Southwest Books of the Year. En México, su trabajo está incluido en Tierra Adentro: Cuentario (Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes) y en Nuestra Aparente Rendición: Antología (Random House Mondadori). Se graduó de Harvard y Yale y ganó una beca Fulbright para estudiar en México. Actualmente vive en Nueva York, y enseña en el Centro de Escritores del Valle de Hudson. Su sitio de web es www.SergioTroncoso.com.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816519617, Paperback)

Premio Aztlan Literary Prize for the best book by a new Chicano writerSouthwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association"She asked me if I liked them. And what could I say? They were wonderful." From the very beginning of Sergio Troncoso's celebrated story "Angie Luna," we know we are in the hands of a gifted storyteller. Born of Mexican immigrants, raised in El Paso, and now living in New York City, Troncoso has a rare knack for celebrating life. Writing in a straightforward, light-handed style reminiscent of Grace Paley and Raymond Carver, he spins charming tales that reflect his experiences in two worlds. Troncoso's El Paso is a normal town where common people who happen to be Mexican eat, sleep, fall in love, and undergo epiphanies just like everyone else. His tales are coming-of-age stories from the Mexican-American border, stories of the working class, stories of those coping with the trials of growing old in a rapidly changing society. He also explores New York with vignettes of life in the big city, capturing its loneliness and danger. Beginning with Troncoso's widely acclaimed story "Angie Luna," the tale of a feverish love affair in which a young man rediscovers his Mexican heritage and learns how much love can hurt, these stories delve into the many dimensions of the human condition. We watch boys playing a game that begins innocently but takes a dangerous turn. We see an old Anglo woman befriending her Mexican gardener because both are lonely. We witness a man terrorized in his New York apartment, taking solace in memories of lost love. Two new stories will be welcomed by Troncoso's readers. "My Life in the City" relates a transplanted Texan's yearning for companionship in New York, while "The Last Tortilla" returns to the Southwest to explore family strains after a mother's death--and the secret behind that death. Each reflects an insight about the human heart that has already established the author's work in literary circles. Troncoso sets aside the polemics about social discomfort sometimes found in contemporary Chicano writing and focuses instead on the moral and intellectual lives of his characters. The twelve stories gathered here form a richly textured tapestry that adds to our understanding of what it is to be human.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:28 -0400)

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