Burdened by poverty, illiteracy, and vulnerability as Mexican immigrants to California's Coachella Valley, three generations of González men turn to vices or withdraw into depression. As brothers Rigoberto and Alex grow to manhood, they are haunted by the traumas of their mother's early death, their lonely youth, their father's desertion, and their grandfather's invective. Rigoberto's success in escapingfirst to college and then by becoming a writeris blighted by his struggles with alcohol and abusive relationships, while Alex contends with difficult family relations, his own rocky marriage, and fatherhood.
Descending into a dark emotional space that compromises their mental and physical health, the brothers eventually find hope in aiding each other. This is an honest and revealing window into the complexities of Latino masculinity, the private lives of men, and the ways they build strength under the weight of grief, loss, and despair.
About the Author
Rigoberto González is the author of seventeen books of poetry and prose, including the memoirs Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (winner of the American Book Award) and Autobiography of My Hungers. He is a contributing editor for Poets & Writers magazine, serves on the board of trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), and is a professor of English at Rutgers–Newark, the State University of New Jersey.
Table of Contents
Opening Salvo Days of Hunger, Days of Want The Prisoner of Nahuatzen Adelina’s Story Canto Take a Guess About Women A Complicated Man Post Mortem When the Hard Times Become Lonely Times Greetings from New York City, 1968 Brotherly Love A Oaxaca Journal Family Outing The Wondrous Flight of the Hummingbird Manpower