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Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories Paperback – May 1, 2002
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From Library Journal
Lopez shows us the spectrum of the Latino community in this collection of 11 short stories. Her characters young, old, black, white, female, male, alcoholic, and even wannabe alcoholic all explore the permutations of their identities in contemporary America. In the title story, we meet an aging alcoholic, always "between jobs," who is rejected by her more successful family. Yet only in an alcoholic stupor can she conjure up the lost Spanish and the lost grandmother of her childhood. In the delightful "After Dad Shot Jesus," a fourth-grade teacher finally realizes that her close-knit family has smothered and manipulated her all her life. Lo pez (English, Brenau Univ.) is brilliant in her depiction of extended families, as when she writes of "old aunts nested in lawn chairs, fingering their bluish tresses and bickering noisily." This superb collection has deservedly won Curbstone Press's Miguel M rmol Prize for debut fiction in 2002. Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville, OR
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Lopez's debut collection of short stories questions what it means to be different--in class, race, and culture especially--and how identities can be lost in the struggle to fit in. The title character in the wonderful story "Sophia" is an unpopular, overweight high-school student who prays to la virgen every night to help her shed her extra pounds and fix her lazy eye. Her peers are cruel to her on a daily basis, but it's her yearning to belong that brings her the most pain--the last few paragraphs are chilling. The title story also examines identities in the Latino community by focusing on Molly, who has become so alienated from her roots that she forgets large chunks of her childhood, including that she once spoke Spanish. When she gets lost in a Latino neighborhood, each step she takes makes her feel more and more like a stranger in a foreign country. A vibrant and memorable collection. Carlos Orellana
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
This is a work that defies classification. It's obvious that Lopez takes a very serious approach to her characters-- mostly Chicanos living in New Mexico. However, these stories lack the stultifying weight common to fiction which strives for seriousness. The result is a compelling cast of characters who bring with them their own truth in its sadness, hillarity and the spectrum of human emotions dwelling in-between.