By Américo Paredes
Category: Pioneer Series
Published: 30 Jun 1998
Bind: Trade Paperback
Antonio Cuitla has a date with destiny. But it’s not the showdown he expects. The once fierce revolutionary now must find his way in the modern world – a world he helped to create by overthrowing the old social order. The subtleties of class warfare, of honor and betrayal, all seem beyond the reach of this tragic hero’s understanding.
Is Antonio’s showdown with a would-be assassin, the cunning aristocrat Don José, or with Death itself? In this novel of taut suspense and psychological conflict, Américo Paredes presents a poetic and engrossing paradox of Latin American life: The caudillo was defined by revolutionary struggle; how does he make the transition to civic life and society-building after the revolution is over?
In Antonio Cuitla and the hacendado Don José María, Paredes has summarized the clashing forces that have characterized Mexican culture since the Spanish Conquest: the native versus European worldview; superstition versus rationalism; the hungry masses versus the privileged few. This confrontation is the stuff of which folk legend and song are made. Antonio Cuitla is the heroic warrior of times past. But can he survive in the modern world?
Finalist, 1998 Violet Crown Award-Fiction
“A taut little novel…a compelling sketch of a warrior trying to adjust to peacetime.”
AMÉRICO PAREDES (1915-1999), the famed Chicano folklorist who died at the age of 84, is widely considered to have been at the forefront of the movement that saw the birth of Chicana/o literary and cultural studies as an academic discipline in the 1970s and 1980s. He was professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin.
He is the author of numerous ground-breaking works, including With a Pistol in His Hand: A Border Ballad and Its Hero (University of Texas Press, 1970), the novel George Washington Gómez (Arte Público Press, 1990), and two collections of poetry, Cantos de adolescencia / Songs of Youth (Arte Público Press, 2007) and Between Two Worlds (Arte Público Press, 1990).