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.