Chatita never saw “anything wrong with living on a road named for a small bloodsucking arachnid,” until her older brother explains that the road is “Garland Potter,” not Tick Road, as the kids had been calling it. “Look, little sister, just keep saying Garrapata, and see how you’ll be made fun of at school. The Americanos will really laugh at you.”
In this tender debut novel, a medley of young voices bring to life a small Mexican-American community in South Texas during the 1940s and 1950s. In this untouched world, young men depart for World War II, whispers of El Chupasangre (the bloodsucker) crawl across the countryside, a brother sacrifices the little money he has for a pastel dress for his sister, and one young girl makes a painful mistake when she disobeys her parents for a tryst with her boyfriend. Each of their lives plays out in the shadows of the world outside their small community and reflects the awakening of a generation of young Mexican Americans raised with their lives bridging two cultures.
Anne Estevis brings to life the voices of young people on the brink of change and conflict, and the coming of age of a traditional community in the modern world.
Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Fwy, Bldg 19, Rm100
Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Project is a national project to locate, identify, preserve and make accessible the literary contributions of U.S. Hispanics from colonial times through 1960 in what today comprises the fifty states of the United States.
For more than forty years, ANNE ESTEVIS, a native Texan, has enjoyed many hours sitting at the kitchen table on the South Texas farm of her husband’s family. She and her three sisters-in-law have shared pan dulce, strong coffee, and many stories about life as it used to be. These bits and snippets of rural life in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas became the basis of two fictional works by Estevis. The first, Down Garrapata Road (Arte Público Press, 2003), had its genesis in the 1990s as a result of a prose writing class in which Estevis had enrolled.
Estevis, a retired educator, was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, and lived a number of years in New Mexico where she met and married her husband, Francisco, a native of Edinburg, Texas. The Estevis’s moved to Edinburg in 1974 where they continue to reside.
Finalist of the 2005 Texas institute of Letters Fiction award
Named a winner of the 2005 Foreword Book of the year Silver Award in the Juvenile Fiction Category
Finalist of the 2004 Texas institute of Letters Fiction award
Named a winner of the 2004 Foreword Book of the year Silver Award in the Juvenile Fiction Category