978-0-670-86808-7 / 9780670868087

Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation


Publisher:Viking Adult



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About the book:

A beautifully wrought memoir of family and heritage crosses Richard Rodriguez's Conversations with My Father with Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street.

Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation tells of growing up in San Antonio, Texas, in an in-between place and time--shifting back and forth across the Mexican border, between present realities and ancient cultures. Interweaving family remembrance, pre-Columbian mythology, and the histories of Texas and Mexico, it blends the story of one Mexican family with the soul of an entire people. Part treasury of the elders, part elegy, part personal odyssey, part Book of the Dead, its tales are of a fragile family lineage that spans borders and rivers and decades.

John Phillip Santos discovers his Mexican past in places close to home and farflung landscapes. The story unfolds through a pageant of unforgettable family figures: from Madrina--touched with epilepsy and prophecy ever since, as a girl, she saw a dying soul leave its body--to Teofilo, who was kidnapped as an infant and raised by the Kikapu Indians of northern Mexico. At the heart of his book is Santos's search for the meaning of his grandfather Juan Jose's mysterious suicide, which becomes a haunting symbol of the Chicano search for identity--Mayan, Aztecan, Spanish, and American. Lyrical prose, magic realism, and memory converge to make a Mexican American opus.

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