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Om författaren

Héctor Tobar was born in 1963 in Los Angeles, California. He received an M.F.A. from the University of California at Irvine and became a reporter with the Los Angeles Times in the 1980's. Along with a team of writers, he was honored with a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the L.A. riots in 1992. He visa mer has written both fiction and non-fiction works. His novels include The Tattooed Soldier and The Barbarian Nurseries, which won the California Book Award Gold Medal for Fiction. His non-fiction works include Translation Nation and Deep Down Dark. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
Foto taget av: Courtesy of Serpent's Tail Press

Verk av Héctor Tobar

Associerade verk

The Best American Short Stories 2016 (2016) — Bidragsgivare — 264 exemplar
Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation (2017) — Bidragsgivare — 182 exemplar
Los Angeles Noir (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 147 exemplar
The Best American Short Stories 2022 (2022) — Bidragsgivare — 93 exemplar
My California: Journeys By Great Writers (2004) — Bidragsgivare — 56 exemplar


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Iudita | 2 andra recensioner | Mar 27, 2024 |
This sounded like it would be a funny book. It wasn't. It is about the stereotypical California family doing well before the financial crash, and their Mexican help, most of whom are let go in the beginning of the book due to financial constraints and how the parents can't do without them. The main part of the story is about how the children wind up in the care of the Mexican cook Araceli,through some incident. What that incident is I don't know, because this book bored me to tears and I could not continue reading it. I wonder if the author was paid by the word, because this is the wordiest book I have read in a long time. Every time the Mexican cook makes an appearance we get endless narration of what she is thinking, feeling, believes. This is true of every character and the information is never interesting nor required for the story. The other problem I had with what little I got through this book was while the stereotyping of the narcissistic upper middle class Californians was repeated over and over, the same was true of how wonderful, perfect pleasant, hardworking the Mexicans were. I am tired of being preached to about how they just want to be in the USA to work hard and do the jobs Americans don't do. This may not have been the case throughout the book, but I will not know because I didn't care enough about the story after the first 75 pages to continue.
Here is an example of how painfully wordy the book is. It is Araceli the cook describing Pepe the grounds keeper who is let go before the reader ever meets him in the book.

"Pepe never had any problems getting the lawn mower started. When he reached down to pull the cord it caused his bicep to escape his sleeve, revealing a mass of taut copper skin that hinted at other patches of skin and muscle beneath the old cotton shirts he wore. Araceli thought there was art in the stains on Pepe’s shirts; they were an abstract expressionist whirlwind of greens, clayish ocher, and blacks made by grass, soil, and sweat. A handful of times she had rather boldly brought her lonely fingertips to these canvases. When Pepe arrived on Thursdays, Araceli would open the curtains in the living room and spray and wipe the squeaky clean windows just so she could watch him sweat over the lawn and imagine herself nestled in the protective cinnamon cradle of his skin: and then she would laugh at herself for doing so. I am still a girl with silly daydreams. Pepe’s disorderly masculinity broke the spell of working and living in the house and when she saw him in the frame of the kitchen window she could imagine living in the world outside, in a home with dishes of her own to wash, a desk of her own to polish and fret over, in a room that wasn’t borrowed from someone else".
The author can clearly write, the problem for me was he did way to much of it, in this book.
… (mer)
zmagic69 | 17 andra recensioner | Mar 31, 2023 |
Los Angeles in all its diversity, from gated communities in the hills to blighted urban neighborhoods. Hector Tobar focuses on the plight of an undocumented domestic worker, Araceli, who is mistakenly left to care for two young boys when their parents check out on each other at the same time. Neither parent realizes they've left the boys alone in the house with Araceli, and she is ill equipped for, and mostly uninterested in, taking care of them. She embarks on a bus and train journey to deliver them to their grandfather, even though she isn't sure where he lives any longer. The boys are exposed to a vastly different world from the privileged enclave where they live, and Araceli taps into a community for aid she didn't know existed. Eventually, she is reported as a kidnapper and the law intervenes in a very Kafkaesque way.

The story is interesting enough to sustain the book, but none of the characters are particularly palatable or interesting on their own. In fact, most of them, including Araceli, are unlikable to the point of distaste. The urban locales of Los Angeles kept me reading when I wanted to abandon the book.

3 bones!!!
… (mer)
blackdogbooks | 17 andra recensioner | Feb 19, 2023 |
Our Migrant Souls is a beautiful, book-length essay filled with indignation, melancholy, and, most importantly, love. Love for Latinos, love for a mixing of races and cultures, love for breaking free of outdated, restrictive stories.

Unlike his earlier Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States, which was essentially a compilation of mini-profiles as Tobar traveled across the United States meeting Latinos, this book masterfully weaves the stories of his students, the people that he meets, and his own family into a moving treatise about what connects Latinos of all sorts and about the future we can create if we fight the oppressive capitalist system that dehumanizes the poor and the brown and Black.

Read it. If, like me, you're Latino, it will fill you with pride. If you're not, it will open your eyes to the people all around you that you're failing to see.
… (mer)
giovannigf | 2 andra recensioner | Feb 10, 2023 |



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