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Welcome To Oaxaca
What You Have Is This, by Tom Dunham
From the start of the Vietnam war, these eleven stories play out over five decades; beginning with “Receiving,” and a young man’s enlistment; ending with a veteran’s recollection of the only day of his tour he clearly remembers. With “Bodine,” there’s a deadly confrontation that ends with a short-sighted, “It’s over. Nobody hurt.” The title story tells of a machinist awaiting a lab result finding comfort in a ten year-old combat memory. These are heartfelt stories whose dark and lighter moments will draw you in, stir your thinking, and stay with you. Available in the library collection, and in paperback and ebook from online vendors.
Running Out the Hurt, by Robert Joe Stout. Black Rose Writing, 2013
Running away from his failures in trying to compete with professional baseball stars, fifteen-year-old Alejandro Lòpez winds up destitute in a seaside city in western Mexico. Although he attempts to conceal his abilities several members of a ragtag semi-pro team drag him back into playing the sport he loves. Available from Kindle and at the Oaxaca Lending Library.
The Jaguar’s Children, by John Vaillant, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
Héctor, a young zapotec from Oaxaca,is trapped. The water truck, sealed to hide its human cargo, has broken down. The coyotes have taken all the passengers’ money for a mechanic and have not returned. Those left behind have no choice but to wait. Both an outstanding suspense novel and an arresting window into the relationship between two great cultures, The Jaguar’s Children shows how deeply interconnected all of us, always, are. Available everywhere and in all formats, including audiobook
Tattoos, Barracuda Teeth, and a Lady Who Talked to Worms, by Tom Dunham
The discoveries of childhood can stay with you forever. From the moment he leaves a dark path for the dazzling sunlit waters of a lake, ten-year-old Dan spends three days all but alone, a greenhorn from the get-go. Tattoos is a child’s story for us all, young or old. Available in the library collection, and in paperback and ebook from online vendors.
The Isthmus: Stories from Mexico’s Past, 1405-1995, by Bruce Stores. iUniverse, 2009
This work of historical fiction describes a 500-year history of the Pacific Isthmus area showing fierce resistance against Aztec, Spanish, Mexican and French intruders. Portrayed are local heroes, a semi-matriarchal society having deep respect for sexual diversity, and an aversion to outsiders bordering on xenophobia. Available at Oaxaca Lending Library, online vendors, and Amate Books (Oax).
Where Gringos Don’t Belong, by Robert Joe Stout. Anaphora Press, 2015
George Bynum leaves his Mexican novia Patricia among protest marchers in the city of Oaxaca and returns to his apartment. His cell phone rings. “They’re attacking! Killing..!” Patricia’s voice rings in his ears. He rushes out but blinded by teargas trips and has to be helped to safety. Available as paperback from online vendors.
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