Walking Stars: Stories of Magic and Power

Victor Villasenor, Author
Victor Villasenor, Author Arte Publico Press $16.95 (202p) ISBN 978-1-55885-118-4
Paperback - 203 pages - 978-1-55885-394-2
Prebound-Glued - 203 pages - 978-0-613-89452-4
Prebound-Sewn - 203 pages - 978-1-60686-769-3
Hardcover - 205 pages - 978-1-55885-535-9
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-385-31654-5
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Legend and fact coexist happily in this spiritually rich collection of stories, which pungently combines elements from Native American folktales, Bible stories, Mexican political history and the experiences of the author and his Mexican family. On the one hand, Villasenor (Rain of Gold) finds literal as well as metaphorical truth in a Mexican octogenarian's statement that ``we all are walking stars.... And we all come from the heavens!'' On the other, he describes his father's boyhood confrontation with ``La Bruja,'' the town witch, a lesson about the hazards of assuming magical powers that do not exist. Still other entries here include a disconcertingly convincing story of a difficult birth; a rousing tale of a boy's desperate race against the train carrying his family away from their Mexican village to the United States; a mystical account of a dog's loyalty to a dying master. The power of this collection is somewhat diluted by the author's notes that follow each story; these recapitulate the themes of the fiction in overeager and artless tones. Such intrusions aside, this literary collage is both original and moving. Ages 11-up. (Sept.)
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