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Antonio's Gun And Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration Paperback – February 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Quinones takes a keen look the migrant economy—both the rural to urban flow within Mexico, and between the U.S. and Mexico—in these nine skillful, moving stories. He devotes the first, middle and last chapters to Delfino Juárez, a construction worker who left his mountain village in Veracruz to work at Mexico City job sites when he was 12 years old before making his way to Arizona through the Sonora desert, a journey that almost cost him his life. Delfino "wanted more from life than simply not to starve," and his pluck shines through the narratives that Quinones (True Tales from Another Mexico) layers with the sociological, economic and historical context of 60 years of immigration. Other standouts among these very fine pieces of literary journalism, include "The Tomato King," about Andrés Bermúdez, a longtime U.S. resident who returns to his native county of Jerez to run for mayor; and "Delfino II: Diez in the Desert," a nuanced portrait of the human trafficking that takes place at the border. The jewel of the collection, "A Soccer Season in Southwest Kansas," depicts the sport's transformative effect—both on the immigrant children and on the High Plains town. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"The most original writer on Mexico and the border out there." --San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"Over the last 15 years, he has filed the best dispatches about Mexican migration and its effects on the United States and Mexico, bar none." --Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Sam Quinones is a border legend. For those in the know, his reportage has been cause for celebration. Now, with Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream he takes us behind the lines and undercover. He puts a human face on 'illegal immigration,' and he gives us stunning stories of survival and dread. However, he accomplishes something more valuable than a mere parade of sensational set pieces - Quinones starts to put the complex issues in the light of understanding and hard-won wisdom." - Luis A. Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway and The Hummingbird's Daughter "Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream is journalism that doesn't replay or expand on the cliched or stereotyped stories of the exotic border, of mystical or threatening mejicanos. Genuinely original work, what great fiction and nonfiction aspire to be, these are stories that stop time and remind us how great reading is." - Dagoberto Gilb, author of Hecho en Tejas"

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 329 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826342558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826342553
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sam Quinones is a journalist, former LA Times reporter, author and storyteller.

His new book of narrative nonfiction - DREAMLAND: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic - was published in 2015 by Bloomsbury Press. It has received rave reviews from Salon.com, Christian Science Monitor, Kirkus Reviews, and a bunch of Amazon.com readers.

DREAMLAND recounts twin tales of drug marketing:

A pharmaceutical corporation flogs its legal new opiate painkiller as nonaddictive; immigrants from a small town in Nayarit, Mexico devise a method for retailing black-tar heroin like pizza and take that system nationwide riding a wave of pill addiction.

The result is our current scourge of opiate - pain pills and heroin - addiction.

A reporter for almost 30 years, Quinones lived and worked as a freelance writer in Mexico from 1994 to 2004. He spent time with gang members and governors, taco vendors and Los Tigres del Norte. He wrote about soap operas, and he lived briefly in a drug-rehabilitation clinic in Zamora, while hanging out with a street gang. He did the same with a colony of transvestites in Mazatlan, with the merchants in the Mexico City neighborhood of Tepito, and with the relegated PRI congressmen known as the Bronx. He hung out with the promoters of Tijuana's opera scene and with the makers of plaster statues of Mickey Mouse and Spiderman in that city's Colonia Libertad.

His previous two acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction about Mexico and Mexican immigration made him, according to the SF Chronicle Book Review, "the most original writer on Mexico and the border."

His first book -- True Tales From Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2001) -- is a collection of nonfiction stories about contemporary Mexico.

His second -- Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration (UNM Press, 2007) -- was called "genuinely original work, what great fiction and nonfiction aspire to be, these are the stories that stop time and remind us how great reading is." (S.F. Chronicle).

In 1998, he received a Alicia Patterson Fellowship, and Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot Prize in 2008, for a career of excellence in reporting about Latin America.

He returned to the United States in 2004 to take a job with the LA Times, where for 10 years he wrote stories about immigrants, street gangs, drug trafficking, and marijuana growers in Northern California.

Contact him at www.samquinones.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Smith on July 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In 2002 Ruben Martinez published "Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail". The book did a wonderful job of telling the story about an extended family separated by the U.S.-Mexico border. Sam Quinones' book "Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream" is an equally compelling and well written, researched book. The three part story of Delfino Juarez is without comparison. Plus, the chapter on migrants from Atolinga, Zacatecas to Chicago who entered the non-Franchise fast food industry is GREAT. My only concern about the book is that Quinones sets out to tell tales about the things Mexican migrants (to the U.S.) want. Ok, generally speaking he succeeded. I was bothered by the fact that Sam seems to lose focus on migrants to the U.S. For example the book has chapters that address such topics as the rise of Opera in Tijuana, Velvet painting in Juarez, and drug smuggling into U.S. and Canada. While the chapters are facinating and well written, I felt these topics did not tie into Quinones' stated objective. Aside from this concern, Sam Quinones obviously poured his heart into the project. Kudos to him. A very good read!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gustavo Arellano on May 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Sam Quinones is the best journalist about Mexican immigration, and this collection shows it. But even if you don't care about Mexicans, the writing here is brilliant--all the essays. Great book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Avedon if only on September 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A collection of short stories of the Mexican diaspora, saddening, uplifting and inspirational by turns that challenge the stereotype of the illegal immigrant on US media outlets. Hopefully readers will be able to bring rationality and even humanity to the immigration debate after reading these insightful stories.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. Miller on May 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really love Sam Quinones' books on Mexico and his stories. It is hard for me to move away from superlatives: each story is a true gem. I feel that the cover, which is a painting, takes so many stories from Mexican life, whether lived in Mexico or here in the U.S., and turns them into the Mexican versions of Norman Rockwell paintings, transformed into words. The story of Delfino, from peasant to breakdancer to builder, is worthy of its own feature film and would transform the immigrant story to that of pioneer. It's an American success story for Mexico, the kind of story that Americans would enjoy seeing and identifying with his courage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By daquiri adams on June 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Sam's stories are so alive, he writes about real folks living out the dream in their own ways. I love all the chapters but there is no finer or more interesting chapter than chap. 4, Doyle and Chuy Wrap Juarez in Velvet. To me the velvet painters are heroes, their story should be told and Sam does it. The cover is done in black velvet. I love the chapter about SouthGate too. Colorful stories all.Should be required reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Tully on October 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Border fences do not squash the kind of raging desire for a better life that the characters in Quinones book seek and find. If you are inspired by stories of simple people who accomplish amazing things against all odds, you will love this book. This is not a book about politics, it is a book about people and it just might add dimension and perspective to your opinion on border issues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ME on October 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I could not put the book down once I started reading it,this book is for anyone who enjoys real life drama, passion,courage,lawlessness,hard work and the simple desire to eat and improve ones life. True tales not only tells the story but takes you deep into the mind of the characters and provides answers to WHY they do it, why they risk everything, what they hope to achieve and what they actually end up achieving.

5 stars.
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