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Unending Rooms First Edition Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0981589930
ISBN-10: 0981589936
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Chacón is the author of three books: Chicano Chicanery, and the shadows took him, and the collection of stories, UNENDING ROOMS (Black Lawrence Press, 2008). He is co-editor of The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Works of José Antonio Burciaga. He co-hosts Words on a Wire, a radio show about books on KTEP.org, Public Radio of the Southwest. His latest book is Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms and Loops (2013).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Black Lawrence Press; First Edition edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981589936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981589930
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #840,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel Chacón is author of four books of fiction, and co-editor with Mimi Gladstein of The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Works of José Antonio Burciaga, which won the American Book Award in 2009. Chacon is recipient of a grant from the Chris Isherwood Foundation as well as the Hudson Book Prize for Unending Rooms, a collection of stories and flash fiction of which Antonya Nelson writes, "Chacón has either re-invented the form, or refreshingly reminded his readers of what stories do best, linger in the mind..."

Chacon's first book was Chicano Chicanery, a finalist in the Patterson Fiction Prize and which The New York Times Review of Books writes, "Although a collection of stories, this book is A Portrait of the Chicano Artist as a Young man."

His books are widely used at college and universities, and the stories have been anthologized in many collections, including The Best Erotic Writing in Latin American Fiction and Highway 99: A Literary Journey Through California's Great Central Valley.

He is also editor of the forthcoming book, Colón-nization, Early and Posthumous Poems of Andrés Montoya.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Olivas on December 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
A recurring theme in Daniel Chacón's new short story collection, "Unending Rooms: Stories" (Black Lawrence Press, $18 paperback), is the manner by which fiction informs our lives, and vice versa.

In the first piece, "John Boyd's Story," the narrator tells us about a graduate seminar in fiction writing at the University of Oregon. He is Chicano, and the only other "brown" person in the seminar is John Boyd, a Native American who was "a skin off the same rez as Sherman Alexie."

The white writers in the group love Boyd's stories -- until he writes one about a Native American who does a bit of violence against a condescending white graduate student doing a study on reservation life. The white writers complain: "What happened to those

Chacón beautiful stories you used to write? Where are your trees and mystical rivers and schools of metaphysical salmon, slipping between the rocks?"

You can almost hear Chacón chuckling to himself as we read those words.

The power of fiction works its way into "Daniel 13," where two old men attempt to rape the young and beautiful Susana, the wife of an older, wealthy rancher. When Susana reports the attack to the police, the newspapers, at first, report the truth, "but the old men asserted their power, and then some papers reported another version."

In time, the newspapers stop referring to the "attempted rape," instead calling it a "sex scandal" based on the fictional version offered up by her assailants.

Eventually, a reformed "hardcore gangbanger" named Daniel becomes enraged when he learns of these lies. He becomes not only Susana's avenger, but also an avenger for truth over vicious fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mar Vista on February 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Nice collection. I like how the first story begins by inviting you inside a home on the Rez in "John Boyd's Story," where you quickly learn this is not another collection of Chicano literary tropes of beans, borders and bullets. Chacon writes about Fresno and Los Angeles, Juarez and Mexico City, Paris and Buenos Aires. He pays homage to a literary tradition of Borges, Carver, Cortazar and Poe where guts and craft and invention rule the day. When "cafe" or "plaza" is used, I wasn't always sure if I was in France or South America or West Los Angeles, which I liked. This may be the first "International" collection of Chicano literature, in that these stories transcend the cultural shadow of place. Metafiction mixed with grit, these stories, like all great stories, are works of the imagination, which is the ultimate Unending Room.

The ending to El Regalito was one of my favorites, "...a formless field of infinite grace." The comedic "Doy, doy doy" from Mean Looks, you can't help but laugh. The story about Sara was one of my favorites, especially when she stands before the tree and extends her arms like a tree herself. Reminded me of the Cortazar story (End of the Game) where 3 young girls play by the train tracks, standing still like a statue or dressed as an emotion as a train rolls by. I wasn't sure if this was where the image came from, but I liked how it took me there. These stories were fun to read, but never thin, in that there was always a depth of complexity to the narrative. If you're looking for jug wine, it ain't here. These are stories of Grand Cru literary tradition, appellation Aztlan. If you're looking for something fresh, that is true to itself, that has some beautiful writing and well crafted stories, Unending Rooms will not disappoint. 95+
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