Chicano Chicano Author Richard by P-HarpercollinsPubl


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Author: Richard Vasquez

A bestseller when it was published in 1970 at the height of the Mexican-American civil rights movement,
Chicano unfolds the fates and fortunes of the Sandoval family, who flee the chaos and poverty of the
Mexican Revolution and begin life anew in the United States.Patriarch Hector Sandoval works the fields
and struggles to provide for his family even as he faces discrimination and injustice. Of his children, only
Pete Sandoval is able to create a brighter existence, at least for a time. But when Pete's daughter
Mariana falls in love with David, an Anglo student, it sets in motion a clash of cultures. David refuses to
marry Mariana, fearing the reaction of his family and friends. Mariana, pregnant with David's child, is
trapped between two worlds and shunned by both because of the man she loves. The complications of
their relationship speak volumes — even today — about the shifting sands of racial politics in America.In
his foreword, award-winning author Rubén Martínez reflects on the historical significance of Chicano's 
initial publication and explores how cultural perceptions have changed since the story of the Sandoval
family first appeared in print.

The man shrugged. "Quién sabe? Such a shame. But it was a bad idea to put a railroad through here. It 
is too wild. Now I guess the railway will be abandoned."Sandoval made his way to the ground with the
help of the cowboy, who introduced himself as Lalo. He made himself comfortable and then examined his
injured foot."It's badly broken. I can't walk, or ride a horse. Is there a town nearby?""Yes. By the rancho
where I work. I'll go send them. But what about the cattle here?"Sandoval shrugged. "Many are injured.
They should be turned loose, I guess.""No," the other replied, "the village near here is called Agua Clara.
They should have the injured cattle. And mi patrón, Señor Domínguez, he will want to keep the uninjured 
cattle until their rightful owner can claim them."Sandoval gave an amused laugh. "Ha! It's my guess
nobody will ever show up to claim anything. Tell you what. If you get the villagers to come and get me, tell
them I will give them the injured cows. And the train, too, if they want that. The company will not risk
sending another train to collect them."Soon Lalo rose to leave. "I will carry word of the train wreck to the
village. And to my patrón. Try to rest comfortably. I'm sure the villagers will care for you when they get 
here in the morning."In the morning they came. Don Francisco Domínguez leading his vaqueros, and 
behind them the subservient villagers. The ranchero directed his men to free the cattle, shouted
instructions as to how to get them out of the tilting cattle and boxcars. His delight was apparent as he
counted the dozens of uninjured cattle herded together. Before noon he had what he wanted. "I will keep
them safe until an owner claims them," he said in a loud voice, and he drove them to his ranch.The men,
women, and children of Agua Clara swarmed over the tilted train. Knives were unsheathed, throats of the
cattle were cut, and blood was caught in earthen jugs. Fires were lighted, spits were improvised, pieces
of carcasses were handed to the women. Hector Sandoval watched as an entire village ate all it wanted
for the first time. Some women roasted meat, some fried, some ground it, some set to work drying meat
for carne seca (beef jerky); some had brought pans and rendered fat. A festive air of a once-in-a-lifetime
occasion prevailed, and the men sang and laughed as they stripped and scraped hides, sawed horns and
hacked off hoofs."Come, taste this, taste this!" one man would shout as he cut a steaming morsel from a
roasting haunch that dripped red. With perhaps a half hundred cattle left to them, they knew there was
more than several times their number could eat. Almost frantically some went about preparing meat for
curing.And in the midst of the labor and gorging, a chill settled through all as they observed a large group
of Indians watching, half the men mounted, women behind with babes in arms.The villagers beckoned,
addressing the newcomers in Spanish. "Come. There is plenty for all." And the Indians joined. Some
wore leather leggings and no shirts, some wore the tattered remains of fine vests, many wore what had
once been fine dress hats and coats; all had their hair in long braids past the shoulders, and the men
were conspicuous by their lack of facial hair. The group of villagers with whom Hector Sandoval was
eating was approached by one of the Indians.
Author Bio
Richard Vasquez
Born in 1928, Richard Vasquez worked for several newspapers, including the Santa Monica Independent,
the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times. In addition to Chicano, he published two
other novels, The Giant Killer and Another Land. He died in 1990.

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