From Klail City to Korea with Love: Two Master Works


Rolando Hinojosa continues his exploration of life along the Texas / Mexico border and the men who go to war.

by Rolando Hinojosa

ISBN: 978-1-55885-841-1
Publication Date: April 30, 2017
Bind: Trade Paperback
Pages: 208


In stock

Product Description

“We’ve never needed a Mexican before,” someone says at a meeting about the possibility of hiring Jehú Malacara at the Klail, Belken County Bank, known simply as the Bank. But times are changing, and Jehú is smart, capable and well-liked.

Containing two volumes from Rolando Hinojosa’s acclaimed Klail City Death Trip Series—Rites and Witnesses and Korean Love Songs—From Klail City to Korea with Love returns to familiar territory as Hinojosa continues his examination of life along the border, including the discrimination faced by Texas Mexicans and locals’ involvement in war.

In brief, brilliant chapters composed of conversational fragments, each one a tile in a vivid mosaic of narrative, Rites and Witnesses captures the complex relationships and unsettling power struggles in both civilian and military life. Alternating chapters reveal the unfolding plans and schemes of the local elite—bankers, ranchers and real-estate moguls—while on the other side of the globe, Klail City native Corporal Rafe Buenrostro engages in skirmishes with the North Koreans, the Communist Chinese and the power brokers of the U.S. Army.

Korean Love Songs, Hinojosa’s only poetry book, captures the horror of war through Rafe Buenrostro’s recollections. “I’m sick. They didn’t stop coming, / And we wouldn’t stop firing. / But we stopped them. / Brutally.” Passing on his beer ration, he says: “Drink? I don’t even want to eat …” In verse that depicts the slaughter of enemy soldiers, friendships made and lost and a military bureaucracy more interested in discipline than keeping its men safe, Hinojosa chillingly revives the terror and atrocity of human conflict. Originally published in 1978 by Editorial Justa Publications, this installment in the Klail City Death Trip Series has long been out of print.

From Klail City to Korea with Love brings together and makes available two important books in Hinojosa’s lauded series that has frequently been compared to the work of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez.

“Although his sharp eye and accurate ear capture a place, its people and a time in a masterly way, his work goes far beyond regionalism. He is a writer for all readers.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Like Faulkner, [Hinojosa] has created a fictional country, invested it with centuries of complex history, and populated it with generations of families and a host of unique characters.”
World Literature Today

“Rolando Hinojosa is one of Texas’ most remarkable writers. The Klail City Death Trip Series is one of Faulknerian dimensions.”
Dallas Times Herald

“Rolando Hinojosa has established himself as sole owner and proprietor of fictional Belken County, which, like the author’s native Mercedes, is situated in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. If Belken is the Lone Star Yoknapatawpha, Hinojosa is its Faulkner.”
The Texas Observer

“…The Klail City Death Trip Series continues to evolve both as a criticism and a celebration; altogether the novels constitute a lovingly accurate recreation of Valley people, politics, speech, social attitudes—even the weather.”
Austin American-Statesman

ROLANDO HINOJOSA, the Ellen Clayton Garwood Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award; the most prestigious prize in Latin American fiction, Casa de las Américas, for the best Spanish American novel in 1976; and the Premio Quinto Sol in 1974. His novels include Fair Gentlemen of Belken County / Claros varones de Belken, Klail City / Klail City y sus alrededores, The Valley / Estampas del Valle, Ask a Policeman, The Useless Servants, and Dear Rafe / Mi querido Rafa, all published by Arte Público Press.