Cover image for Gritos : essays
Gritos : essays
Gilb, Dagoberto, 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Grove Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xv, 247 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
My landlady's yard -- Documenting the undocumented -- Blue eyes, brown eyes: a pocho tours Mexico -- El Paso -- Vaya con dios, Rosendo Juarez -- Wyoming eats coyote -- Los gellos -- Living el Chuco -- Mi mommy -- Me macho, you Jane -- L.A. Navidad -- Donkey show -- Border trilogy by Cormac McCarthy -- Un grito de Tejas -- What I would have said about the state of Texas literature -- From a letter to Pat Ellis Taylor -- Eulogy for Don Ricardo Sanchez -- Note on lit from the Americas -- Steinbeck -- Get over it, good brown man -- This writer's life -- If you were a carpenter -- Northeast direct -- Dream comes true -- Spanish guy -- Victoria -- I want to see a fortune-teller -- Bullfight, vegetables, death -- Poverty is always starting over -- Rite of passage -- Books suck -- M'ijo goes to college -- Letter to my sons -- Work union -- 010100 -- Pride.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3557.I296 G75 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



When he first started writing, Dagoberto Gilb was struggling to survive as a journeyman high-rise carpenter. Years later, he has won widespread acclaim as a crucial and compelling voice in contemporary American letters. Tackling everything from cockfighting to Cormac McCarthy to fatherhood, Gritos collects Gilb's essays and his popular commentaries for NPR's Fresh Air, offering a startling portrait of an artist -- and a Mexican-American -- working to find his place in both the cloistered literary world and the world at large, to say nothing of his strange and beloved borderland of Texas. Book jacket.

Author Notes

Dagoberto Gilb is an author and professor at Southwest Texas State University. He was schooled at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received his M. A. He contributes to Fresh Air, a National Public Radio program.

Gilb was the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. He was awarded the 1994 Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for the short story collection, The Magic Blood. Gilb's novel, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuna, was named a Notable Book in the New York Times.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

As a magnetic short story writer, Gilb, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, becomes his compelling characters. As an arresting essayist, he is unabashedly himself, and his zest for life, passion for illuminating Mexican American culture, and seductive storytelling skills infuse his astute observations, reminiscences, and critiques with compelling energy and momentum. Here are candid and nimble ruminations on growing up pocho, that is, Americanized, in L.A. as a mixed-race son raised by a beautiful, divorced, and much sought after Mexican mother. Here is Gilb working as a carpenter and watching the INS round up his fellow crew members; considering a gig writing for a TV crime series set in El Paso; praising Steinbeck; caring for his family; and watering the lawn outside his rented El Paso house because his convention-bound landlady refuses to acknowledge the absurdity of grass in the desert. It is, in fact, this very blindness to the true nature and significance of the land, people, Spanish legacy, and Mexican spirit of the Southwest that goads Gilb into writing his potent and clarifying essays. Donna Seaman

Library Journal Review

In the past few years, Gilb has established himself as one of the foremost writers on the dignity of work in the United States, and these collected pieces show the ongoing tension between the writer and the carpenter within him. These "gritos" (translated narrowly as "shouts" but with broader meanings depending on the context) could be described as autobiographical pieces in which the writer is not always the obvious subject. The topics range from forays into Mexico to follow the legend of Corts and La Malinche, to the miscegenation that leads figuratively to the mixed race of Latinos, to Gilb's experiences in New England when he traveled there to receive a literary prize, to memories of his mother and the various men in her life. Unlike his short stories, these works rarely show Gilb settling into a tranquil routine. Instead, he finds himself writing about uncomfortable situations with predictable ironies. The results are always interesting, however, and some pieces resound with an intensity of style that keeps the pages turning. Latino essayists have only recently been allowed into the magazine and journal worlds, and Gilb, along with contemporaries Richard Rodriguez and Ilan Stavans, is becoming part of that significant group. Highly recommended.-Harold Augenbraum, Mercantile Lib. of New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Cormac McCarthy
Introductionp. vii
I. Culture Crossing
My Landlady's Yardp. 3
Documenting the Undocumentedp. 7
Blue Eyes. Brown Eyes: A Pocho Tours Mexicop. 11
EI Pasop. 33
Vaya con Dios, Rosendo Juarezp. 37
Wyoming Eats Coyotep. 54
Los Gallosp. 57
Living al Chucop. 70
II. Cortes and Malinche
Mi Mommyp. 75
Me Macho, You Janep. 89
L.A. Navidadp. 105
The Donkey Showp. 110
The Border Trilogyp. 114
III. The Writing Life
Un Grito de Tejasp. 125
What I Would Have Said About the State of Texas Literaturep. 131
From a Letter to Pat Ellis Taylorp. 137
Eulogy for Don Ricardo Sanchezp. 140
Note on Lit from the Americasp. 145
Steinbeckp. 148
Get Over It, Good Brown Manp. 152
This Writer's Lifep. 156
If You Were A Carpenterp. 161
Northeast Directp. 164
Dream Comes Truep. 170
IV. Working Life and La Family
Spanish Guyp. 205
Victoriap. 209
I Want to See a Fortune-tellerp. 217
Bullfight, Vegetables, Deathp. 220
Poverty Is Always Starting Overp. 223
Rite of Passagep. 226
Books Suckp. 229
M'ijo Goes to Collegep. 232
Letter to My Sonsp. 235
Work Unionp. 238
010100p. 240
Pridep. 243