by Daniel Cano
Published: 30 Jun 1995
Bind: Trade Paperback
Shifting Loyalties is a sweeping exploration of the lives of five young Chicano men before, during, and after the Vietnam War. The novel travels time and space—from Southern California in the 1950s to the jungles of Vietnam in the 60s to Spain in the 70s and Pennsylvania in the 80s. The result of this far-ranging journey is a portrait of an ethnic American community touched by the atrocities of war. David, Danny, Charley, Joey, and Manny struggle in individual ways with their ambivalent feelings about war. On the one hand, they have been raised to respect and leave unquestioned the notion of service and duty. On the other, they experience a growing sense of mistrust toward decisions made for them. “Don’t ask,” David’s father tells him as a child. “One day you’ll see. That’s all.” But as David and the others reach adulthood they find that this isn’t enough to guide them through the horrible realities of war and the post-war readjustment to civilian life. Daniel Cano’s second novel leaves an indelible impression of the complex experience of a war-torn generation.
“This work is very important for Chicano literature because it deals with a subject matter that needs to be brought out. Cano writes with an unpretentious and honest flair.”—Charley Trujillo, editor of Soldados: Chicanos in Vietnam, winner of the 1991 American Book Award
DANIEL CANO is the author of Pepe Ríos (Arte Público Press, 1991), Shifting Loyalties (Arte Público Press, 1995), and Death and the American Dream (Bilingual Review Press, 2008). His work has been published in various anthologies, including Pieces of the Heart: New Chicano Fiction (Chronicle Books, 1993) and Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature (Longman, 2005). He has been a professor of English at Santa Monica College since 1988 and has held administrative positions there and at UCLA, UC Davis, and California State University Dominguez Hills.