Tthought-provoking stories that explore machismo, family relationships, love, and even santeria.
In this stirring collection of eleven stories, J.L. Torres crafts deft reflections of Puerto Ricans living on the mainland. A son who follows his father's wish to be buried in his beloved isla but can't seem to meet his father's other wish to not be covered with the American flag, a right he has as a veteran of World War II and Korea. A Nuyorican visiting his aunt in Cayey is fascinated with a run-down shack where a mysterious woman lives, surrounded by conflicting stories about her life and loves. In the Bronx, Ralph and Lou are unnerved by a spooky sight: eight red kerchiefs tied equidistantly apart on a cyclone fence. In the story "A Natural Thing," Eric and Monica's lovemaking is interrupted by an odd sound. He's mortified when he sees what has entered the room: A full-grown rooster, its wattles cut, the feathers trimmed except the wings; its legs plucked to pimpled skin, strutting and bobbing its head like it owned the place. Instantly, Eric realizes that Don Epifanio has converted the basement into a cock-fighting ring. Torres' characters reveal the circumstances that shape their lives in these thought-provoking stories that explore machismo, family relationships, love, and even santeria.