Sinners on Fox Street: A Novella and Stories
Short fiction illuminates the lives of Latinos in 1950s-era New York
by Yolanda Gallardo
Publication Date: November 30, 2022
Format: Trade Paperback
“You can’t help but see people die when you live on Fox Street,” says the protagonist of the novella Fox Street. The worst was when there was nothing you could do, like when a kid was hit by a car, and she and her friends stood around and watched him die. The police drew a chalk mark around his body, and when he was taken away, they “could still see the shape of that kid, marked out in chalk and filled with dried blood.”
In this poignant and often humorous account of growing up in the Bronx in the 1950s, Yolanda Gallardo’s mischievous young character vividly recalls her childhood as the neighborhood changed from Jewish to Latino. She and her siblings swam in the East River, despite the rats and garbage; watched police beat up local kids; and got involved in gangs, like the Royals and Young Sinners. Their family was financially impoverished, but there were many happy times as they watched their parents dance to “hick Spanish records,” helped their mom cook pasteles and learned to dance the mambo and cha-cha.
Although set in a specific time and place, the novella and ten stories in this collection depict universal experiences, from girls and women having to prove themselves equal to the boys and men around them to the loss of a child.