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Chicano Chicanery [Paperback]

Daniel Chacon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2000
In bittersweet comic fables and through tales of frightening realism, Daniel Chacón captures the shrewd, furtive, and sometimes tortuous ways by which Mexican-Americans manage to survive in intimidating territory--often only to trip themselves out.

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Review

"A fine debut collection. Chacón has the sensibility (and the sense of humor!) to bring these stories heartbreakingly to life." -- Cristina García, author of Dreming in Cuban and The Aguero Sisters

"Although a collection of stories, this book is 'A Portrait of the Chicano Artist as a Young Man.'" -- 5950

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Chicano Chicanery�Funny, Smart, Sexy Feb. 12 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read the first story in Chicano Chicanery--"Andy the Office Boy"--online, and I have to admit, from the title, I wasn't expecting much. But then I met the story's protagonist, Rachel Garcia, a Harvard Law School graduate from El Paso, Texas, who finds herself the only woman of color in a Minnesota law firm upon graduating. Though this is Chacon's least favorite story in the collection, it is arguably the best. The Rachel Garcia character is captured deftly in only a few pages. The reader knows who she is, where she's come from and where she's going. As a result, we understand why she resents being forced to do menial tasks such as pick out a present for Andy, how she feels when white Minnesotans stare at her--a Chicana with a briefcase. We even understand that her actions at the end of the story are her attempt to overcome the alienation and disconnectedness she feels rather than Chacon's sexism, as one reviewer insinuated. In addition to "Andy the Office Boy," Chicano Chicanery features many other standout stories--"Godoy Lives"--which contains even more chicanery than "Andy," "Too White," "Torture Fantasy," "Ofrenda" and more. In the collection, we meet young Chicanos and Chicanas at a crossroads--grappling with ethnic identity and interpersonal relationships, success and failure, in a trickster world. It is regrettable more people haven't read this book. I look forward to the April 2004 release of Chacon's debut novel, And the Shadows Took Him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chicano Chicanery�Funny, Smart, Sexy Feb. 12 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read the first story in Chicano Chicanery--"Andy the Office Boy"--online, and I have to admit, from the title, I wasn't expecting much. But then I met the story's protagonist, Rachel Garcia, a Harvard Law School graduate from El Paso, Texas, who finds herself the only woman of color in a Minnesota law firm upon graduating. Though this is Chacon's least favorite story in the collection, it is arguably the best. The Rachel Garcia character is captured deftly in only a few pages. The reader knows who she is, where she's come from and where she's going. As a result, we understand why she resents being forced to do menial tasks such as pick out a present for Andy, how she feels when white Minnesotans stare at her--a Chicana with a briefcase. We even understand that her actions at the end of the story are her attempt to overcome the alienation and disconnectedness she feels rather than Chacon's sexism, as one reviewer insinuated. In addition to "Andy the Office Boy," Chicano Chicanery features many other standout stories--"Godoy Lives"--which contains even more chicanery than "Andy," "Too White," "Torture Fantasy," "Ofrenda" and more. In the collection, we meet young Chicanos and Chicanas at a crossroads--grappling with ethnic identity and interpersonal relationships, success and failure, in a trickster world. It is regrettable more people haven't read this book. I look forward to the April 2004 release of Chacon's debut novel, And the Shadows Took Him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME Collection of short stories! Nov. 30 2006
Format:Paperback
This book was an awesome collection of short stories. My favorite "Godoy Lives" is real gritty, true to the Chicano experience. And the character "Peacock" was also especially dear to read, especially when one considers Andres Montoya as a possible source of inspiration for the development of this character. This book works on many levels, but was easy and pleasant to read. It was something that I found myself reading before bed, in the calm of the evening. I would definitely recommend this book to others!

Oh, and to the reviewer who questions Daniel's attitude toward women: I am a young woman myself who had the pleasure of being a student of Daniel Chacon while he was the distinguished writer in residence at Fresno State (Fall 2006). And I can tell you from my own experience; Daniel was nice to everyone - across the board. Men, women, students, faculty... it made no difference. He did nothing but encourage others... men AND women!
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