The Hammon and the Beans and Other Stories


by Américo Paredes

ISBN: 978-1-55885-071-2
Category: Fiction
Published: 30 Jun 1994
Bind: Trade Paperback
Pages: 236



The culture conflict that dominated the border region during the time of Texas’ transition away from Mexican political status and culture to that of the United States is the main inspiration for these stories. Here are tales of revolutionaries and guerrilla warriors refracted obliquely quite often through the eyes of children who are directly affected in their schools and families by the political environment. As the title story indicates, there is an ongoing battle within these pages between the Mexican past and the American future; it is not only a tale of the struggle for cultural survival, as one language confronts the other, as land tenancy shifts, as new systems of law and economic organization come into place, but it is also the tale of the everyday folk struggling to survive economically, culturally, and spiritually in the face of rapid change. Some of the stories record another type of cultural confrontation: Mexican-American soldiers at war in Korea and living in Japan. In these stories, all the assumptions about race, culture and politics come into sharp focus as Mexican Americans, a U.S. national minority, now have to find their emotional and cultural space in a world that has become a battlefield very much like the one that transformed northern Mexico into the Southwest United States.