Jose Yglesias

Publication Date:1996


Ex-fire chief Rudy Parado, a curmudgeon if ever there was one, had come home to find a young black man rifling through his house and possessions. The intrusion brings out Rudy’s blatant racial prejudices. But, as he grapples to maneuver the scales of justice, Rudy comes to realize that the break-in has more to do with his conscience than his house. Reluctantly, he allows himself to be drawn into a polarized relationship with the bright young burglar, risking the integrity of his fast-held biases.

The mordant and never revealed question in this humorous, witty and human exploration of race and justice in our society asks whether Munro, the smart young interloper, is worth Rudy’s time and effort. Rudy has family problems of his own: failure surrounds his ex-con son and his lump of a nephew. So why is Rudy so drawn to making things right by the young black desperado? Questions abound in this beguiling, graceful narrative by one of America’s most accomplished novelists.