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Loving Pedro Infante Hardcover – April 15, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Ch vez's latest (after Face of an Angel) est de aquella it's a terrific novel full of abuelita wisdom and raunchy cantina wit. Trapped in Cabritoville, N.Mex., and in love with Lucio, a married man who refuses to commit, 30-something Tere Avila is a teacher's aide by day, a regular at local bar La Tempestad and a 24/7 member of the Pedro Infante Club #256. Mid-century movie star Infante is Elvis Presley and Cary Grant rolled into one. Though a womanizer, Infante's passion for life captured the souls of the Mexican people, and in death he reigns supreme as the ultimate male icon. When they're not at La Tempestad, or eating at Sophia's Mighty Taco, Tere and her best friend, Irma, indulge in weekly Pedro-athons. Matching his movies to their emotional state, the two use the films as an escape but also as a hilarious, poignant vehicle for their desires and anger. The movies highlight Tere's misguided love for Lucio while cleverly exposing the Mexican psyche. Ch vez's voice is at once zany and knowing. She is la gran mitotera a big troublemaker, stirring up rollicking mischief with wacky humor delivered in the lyrical tempo of Chicano slang. The language is bawdy, sometimes downright sucio, but expressive in a way that pure Spanish or English couldn't be. A liberating Chicana coming-of-a-certain-age tale, rooted in a profound love for la gente, the book gives us heroines we didn't know we had and makes us understand that love means embracing flaws our own as well as those of others. (Apr. 15)Forecast: Ch vez, a spirited reader, will embark on a 12-city author tour, with Pedro-athons planned for Chicago and L.A. Sales in the Southwest should be particularly strong, but this rollicking novel could easily be Chavez's biggest yet nationwide.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In a small, dusty Texas-Mexico border town called Cabritoville, thirtysomething Tere Avila is in love with a married man. She also loves Pedro Infante, a 1940-50s era film star whom the author describes as a Mexican Elvis. Tere's life revolves around her membership in Pedro Infante's fan club and her friendship with Irma. According to Irma, "You can learn so much about Mejicano culture, class structure, the relationships between men and women, women and women, men and men, as well as intergenerational patterns of collaterality in Pedro's movies. The movies tell you what Mejicanos embrace and reject in their lives." Through Tere, Chavez explores femininity and cultural identity. While many Chicano language and cultural references abound, Chavez explains the context. Readers familiar with works by Sandra Cisneros, Ana Castillo, and Julia Alvarez will enjoy Chavez's new work. Appropriate for public and academic libraries. Lee McQueen, SUNY at Buffalo
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
The book is written in a fun tone. It feels like your close friend wrote it to you, she filters nothing and talks in a fun laid back way.. EXAMPLE: she is in the bathroom with her BFF Irma and she mentions Irma "hechandose pedotes" (farting,) she sleeps with a man who they nickname "Dancing Bigote"...... Bottom line this book is easy to read, FUN to read, and the psych. of it (ir youre analytical like me) is great!!! I recomend this book if you're looking for a fun and easy read, especially if youre latina and can relate to the language and culture of the character of 'Tere' the main character. I am actually ordering the Spanish version as a gift for my Tia Aurora who is also a Pedro Infante fan.
Hope this helps :)
As she unravels her story, Tere parallels her mental ponderings about Infante to her own foolish love for Lucio. It happens that Epoca de Oro Mexican movie star Infante, who has captured many a Chicana(o)'s and Mejicana(o)'s heart, has captured hers. The same as Lucio has. She and her best friend Irma even celebrate weekend Pedro-a-thons, drowning themselves in the ever enticing embrace of those black and white moving, talking, singing images.
She chastises those who don't already know Infante, wishing them to a destiny involving dry corn husks and a vat of soggy fideos. Though there's no need to panic. Tere teaches even the knowing Mejicano a thing or two by saturating her narrative with Pedro Infante trivia.
Mastering the art of pochismos in conjunction with the elusive "desde", she speaks in a language comfortable even if unfamiliar. She weaves through the intricacies of her turmoiled affair with these two men with the same detail and ease as she would a description of the burnt popcorn strewn aisles of the noisy El Colon Theater during an Infante feature with her best friend Irma. Y sin pelos en la lengua, she presents the very unromantic aspects of romance, such as forgetting to shave and misplacing a diaphragm in the moldy shower stall of a seedy motel. Such is the process of outlining that which separates real and illusionary love.
But this not merely an ill-fated love story, it is equally a story of family, friendship and community. Tere's mother and Irma provide constant strength and support. When Tere's good friend Ubaldo disappears and a search party gathers, it becomes clear that-- though an outcast-- her community will also be there for her.
Ultimately, this book is a liberating Chicana account of personal growth, powered by an unconventional heroine. Tere ventures where others won't: creating or simply uncovering a truer face for womanhood.
Teresina, or Tere, is a teacher's aide involved with a self-centered married man Lucio Valadez. Lucio promises her the sun and the moon which are never delivered to her. He cheats on her as well as his wife. Irma and Ubaldo, another friend of hers, tell her that she needs to do away with him. But she clings on to hope that she will have him and they'll be a family along with Lucio's daughter Andrea. Unfortunately, a series of events will force Tere to confront the reality of her life and self.
Chavez is not afraid to express the lives of Mexican women and their descendants or does she sugarcoat on homosexuality and sexual child abuse of Ubaldo Miranda. The description of a town gives the reader an idea of what it is like to be a part of a small community that clings to its old customs despite the occuring changes.
This is a good read which took me a week to read. Highly recommended.