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Autobiography Part 2
on June 26, 2010
I have read all three of the professor's books in their Spanish-language versions, and I have read each several times. As someone trying to learn Spanish, I find these books to be most useful. The vocabulary is practical, consisting of everyday words; the style and narrative are direct; the ideas and sentiments comprehensible and familiar. This book is a continuation of an autobiography that begins with the professor's previous book -- Senderos fronterizos. In that book, Professor Jiménez describes his family's illegal entry into the U.S. and the difficult years of poverty in California, where his family labored as agricultural workers. In Senderos, we watch the family struggle to make ends meet. We watch Francisco and his older brother Roberto struggle to put themselves through high school. It's the sort of immigrant story that every American can understand and enjoy. Francisco and his siblings adapt to their new environment (while the father does not), and Francisco wins admission to university. In this second volume of the story, Francisco leaves his family in Santa Maria and goes to college. The reader admires Francisco's love of family and determination to educate himself. I can't believe that he didn't kiss Laura before he put her on the train to San Carlos. Maybe he did and just won't tell us. I suspect that we might see a third installment to this story. If the professor writes it, I will certainly buy and read it.
At the moment, I am rereading Más allá, looking up all the words that I didn't know and let pass on the first reading. As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, I derive an added pleasure from reading this book -- that of recognizing many of the places described in the story. A very pleasurable read. Highly recommended for intermediate learners.
All right, here it is on page 210: "Me estiré y le di un beso. Oímos el silbido del tren." So Laura gets her kiss, after all. Now I'm happy.