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The Last of the Menu Girls Paperback – April 13, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (April 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400034310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400034314
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The character of Rocio Esquibel, as a child, young woman, teacher, and aspiring writer, gives unity to this collection of seven related stories set in New Mexico. Chavez writes feelingly of things she obviously knows well, giving us a neighborhood full of memorable friends and relatives, compadres and comadres , handymen, hospital helpers, grandmothers, mothers, sisters. The title story concerns Rocio's funny and touching experiences in a summer job at a hospital. "Space Is a Solid," crackling with authenticity and longing, details the relationship of teacher and pupil. "Willow Game" describes the inexplicable sorrow of children; "Shooting Stars," the beauty of old women. These stories fairly shimmer with the warmth, tones, and language of the Southwest. A worthy addition to collections of Chicano women's fiction. Mary Soete, San Diego P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"These stories fairly shimmer with the warmth, tones, and language of the Southwest."--Library Journal

“A richness of texture and images [is] characteristic of Chavez’s writing. . . . These stories provide a clear glimpse into the world of New Mexico, of Hispanic customs and wisdoms, the grace that may, and did, come with a hard living.” –Santa Fe Reporter

“A valuable contribution to Chicana literature.” --Choice

“Chavez draws carefully detailed, emotionally convincing portraits of the lives of ordinary people” --Newsday

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Constance M. Gotsch on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Author DENISE CHAVEZ creates several things in THE LAST OF THE MENU GIRLS. She offers vivid childhood memories as the main character, Rocio grows from child to young woman. CHAVEZ gives us a strong sense of Hispanic culture, and she talks about the rites of passage from girlhood to womanhood universal to all of us. Rocio's discovery that Mama couldn't protect her from all harm, that evil lurked in the world, and that people could be manipulative and downright vicious over nothing resonaged particularly with me because of some of my own childhood experiences. I also chuckled at Rocio's interactions with neighbors and friends, and her experiences on her first job because, yes, I had similar ones. THE LAST OF THE MENU GIRLS set me recalling my neighborhood, the German-Czech Republic culture I knew, and my family stories. Good stories do that. This one's worth the read. And for those who are learning Spanish, there's an extra bonus, lots of bilingual writing. but CHAVEZ handles both languages in a way that lets the person who doesn't speak Spanish also enjoy HE LAST OF THE MENU GIRLS.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "debriana" on July 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book when it first came out and shortly after meeting Ms. Chavez, and have since re-read it at least a dozen times. Each time I find myself transported back to my childhood. The images Chavez creates evoke cultural memories that I am only now able to understand and appreciate. For anyone who wants to explore cultural identity, The Last of the Menu Girls is a perfect starting place.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reads more like a series of personal narratives than a short-story novel. There is no real climax, no real excitement here. It gives a rather humdrum account of young girl growing up in a humdrum neighborhood. The title story is clever and has a few laughs.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
I wish I liked this book more. Some of the seven stories were wonderful and rambly. Others just left a lot to be desired. I did like the story with the drama students. All 7 stories follow different parts of Rocio Esquibel (the main character)'s life...told in a unique voice.
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