Cover image for Flight and other stories
Flight and other stories
Skinner, José, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Reno : University of Nevada Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
ix, 186 pages : portrait ; 24 cm.
Flight -- Archangela's place -- Age of copper -- Cosas, Inc. -- Weeds -- Eloy -- Dogs -- Every head's a world -- Tongue -- Trial day -- Careful -- Desiring desire -- Pickup -- Spring.
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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A rich collection of short stories that explore the broad range of Hispanic-American experience in the West. In this rich group of stories, the author explores many themes. ""Archangela's Place"" features a wonderful Mexican character who weaves herself permanently into the lives of an Anglo family-with enduring results. ""Flight"" tackles racial misunderstanding between an urban African-American and a rural Chicano woodcutter. ""Eloy"" and ""Every Head's a World"" are coming-of-age stories that illustrate, in various degrees of tragedy and comedy, the complexities faced by Hispanic-American youth. ""Careful"" is an ironic and humorous story of an encounter between two gay teenagers, one Hispanic and one Anglo, that is admirably honest and compelling in its sensuality. Among the rest are two pure romances, ""Pickup,"" which is like a tormented country-western song, and ""Spring,"" a witty story of love unrequited for forty years until, finally, the elderly lovers can openly and tenderly embrace in a passionate and charming conclusion. The stories in this collection show a wide range of compassion and understanding of the often confusing rules of love in a multicultural world.

Author Notes

José Skinner was born in Puerto Rico, raised in Mexico City, and has spent much of his life in Central and South America as well as the American Southwest. He began his writing career as a freelance journalist reporting from Central America in the 1980s. Needing a break from the front lines, Skinner turned down a reporting assignment in war-torn northern Nicaragua. That decision saved his life and launched a career writing fiction. He has been a professional English/Spanish translator and interpreter for more than ten years, primarily in the criminal courts of New Mexico. He was a merit fellow at the Iowa Writer's Workshop through 2002 and now teaches at the University of Texas-Pan American.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Fourteen realistic stories about Latinos in the American Southwest bring us up close to a great variety of people and places and the distances between them. Whether new immigrants or mainstream Anglos, the young characters are caught between worlds, unable to understand the language. Class is the big divider. In "Weeds," the radical ex-druggie tries to involve a Latino gangbanger in building a community garden, but the teenager isn't interested ("My parents spent their whole lives bustin' their ass in the fields. You think I wanna do the same?"). Embarrassed to be connected to his alcoholic Mexican laborer client, the young public defender in "Trial Day," a third-generation urban American who doesn't even speak Spanish, is ashamed to be ashamed. The lonely voices in these stories--the best of which try for a neat resolution and then reveal its fragility--are all immediate, their talk laced with Spanish insult and endearment, comic, angry, anguished. Skinner's debut collection is part of the Western Literature series. He is a writer to watch. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Jos‚ Skinner's Flight and Other Stories is a varied, well-crafted and frequently daring collection of vignettes centering mostly around the complex interplay between whites and Latinos in the American Southwest. In "Archangela," the arrival of a Mexican maid begins a young Anglo boy's sexual awakening; he soon learns that he is not the only member of his family drawn to her. Language and desire also inform "Careful," in which a gay teen tries to adjust to a new high school. The characters are complex and fully realized, and Skinner's voice is confident yet nuanced throughout. ( Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved