The Hammon And The Beans And Other Stories

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The Hammon and the Beans and Other Stories

The culture conflict that dominated the border region during the time of Texas' transition from Mexican political status and culture to that of the United States is the dominant inspiration for these stories.

From Publishers Weekly
Paredes, best known for his study of Chicano folklore that was the basis for the movie The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez , writes in a voice that is direct, intimate and colloquial, engaging the reader immediately, as he does in the title story: "Once we lived in one of my grandfather's houses near Fort Jones . . . a quiet neighborhood at least, too far from the center of town for automobiles and too near for musical, night-roaming drunks." Composed between 1940 and 1953, these stories are obliquely political: frequently the author uses a child's point of view to explore the themes of poverty, violence and the tension caused by acquiescing to an arbitrary authority. While Paredes succeeds at capturing the emotional essence of each story, many of them are mere sketches--the plots seem mechanical, the characters one-dimensional, the irony heavy-handed. The best pieces escape this fate, notably "A Cold Night," about a...

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