by Daniel Chacon
Published: 31 Mar 2000
Bind: Trade Paperback
Finalist, Paterson Fiction Prize
8 in stock
From Mexico City to “Aztlán, Oregon,” in bittersweet comic fables and through tales of frightening realism, Daniel Chacón captures the shrewd, furtive, and sometimes torturous ways by which Mexican-Americans manage to survive in intimidating territory–often only to trip themselves up.
Chacón’s Chicano Chicanery presents a baker’s dozen of short stories featuring switched identities (in both Mexico and the United States); an involuntary gang initiation; men’s betrayals of their friends and of themselves; and some slippery exploits at the law office and in the chicken-packing factory.
Are Chacón’s heroes and heroines sometimes ruthless and sometimes foolishly sentimental? Alternatively naïve and a bit too clever for their own good? Perhaps it’s because chicanery, whether it’s tricking others or sheer self-deception, is such an untrustworthy tool. Sometimes–even in the most practiced hands–it can suddenly turn into a fearsome weapon.
Finalist, 2001 Paterson Fiction Prize
“A fine debut collection. Chacón has the sensibility (and sense of humor!) to bring these stories heartbreakingly to life.”—Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban and The Agüero Sisters
“[These stories] make you think, and they reach the heart with a cast of unique characters and surprise endings. An outstanding collection.”—Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima and the Sonny Baca mystery series
“Although a collection of stories, this book is A Portrait of the Chicano Artist as a Young Man, with the author becoming more literary as the pieces accumulate.”—The New York Times Book Review
“This book should be bought by all libraries interested in contemporary fiction and in contemporary Chicano Literature.”—COUNTERPOISE
DANIEL CHACÓN grew up in Fresno, California, the last of three children. He lived with one foot in the city and one in rural Fresno County, with fig orchards, cow pastures, and low flying crop dusters appearing outside the window of his living room. All he had to do was cross the highway and he was in the city: brick walls, concrete curbs, streetlights, stray dogs, bill boards, neon signs, and bearded homeless men who walked around the parking lots of strip malls looking for money.
Chacón taught for five years at MJC, where he was co-coordinator of the Puente Program, which brings Chicana/o literature to the community college writing class. He taught for a year at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. Now he teaches in the MFA program at the University of Texas at El Paso. When he’s not in class, he’s on a hill, in his home overlooking the twin cities, El Paso and Juárez, and he’s writing.
Learn more at soychacon.blogspot.com.