May is Latino Books Month, so I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite Latin@ books every Saturday in May. Since May is also National Short Story Month, I’m starting with a couple of my favorite Chican@ short story collections, both of which happen to be written by Texas authors.
Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros. I’m not sure where I read this book, but I do know I read it in school and fell in love with several of the stories in it. Each story focuses on the different roles that Mexican women play, and looking back now, I could kick myself for not using this book when I was writing my thesis because it would have fit in perfectly (my topic was on images of Mexican immigrant motherhood). It’s been a while since I’ve read the book, but I remember being devastated by some of the stories. Cisneros is a beautiful writer.
Woodcuts of Women by Dagoberto Gilb. I first read this book in undergrad when I was taking a Chican@ literature course, and I immediately took note of the writing. The book is a collection of stories about men’s various obsessions with women, all told from the men’s point of view. I know, I know. Usually, all of that would make me immediately write a book off, but I assure you, Woodcuts of Women isn’t some Bukowski-esque dudebook. Gilb’s often clueless male protagonists often inspire some poignant reflections. I also loved the linocuts that illustrate the pages. Also of note: most of the stories are set in El Paso, Texas.
By all means, please leave the titles of your favorite Latina/o short story collections (or titles of single short stories) in the comments!