Monday, June 14, 2010

The Madonnas of Echo Park

The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse
This is a wonderful fiction debut. It has one of the best Author's Notes I've ever read. (No Contest) The early comparisons to Junot Diaz and Sherman Alexie are well deserved. The Madonnas of Echo Park is several interrelated short stories that tell the tale of Mexican Americans living in Echo Park a Los Angeles neighborhood, in the 80's. Madonna's Borderline video was shot in Echo Park and left an impression on the neighborhood. Skyhorse writing is beautiful and smooth. The characters and situations are fully formed. My favorite story was Rules of the Road, about Efren Mendoza a by the book bus driver. He refuses to speak Spanish to Mexican riders and has no time for illegal Mexicans. Mendoza's story is a testament to the different voices in The Madonnas of Echo Park.

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