Well, I have to say I’m having a hard time slogging through The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols (1974). I think I might have had an easier time if I hadn’t read So Far From God by Ana Castillo so recently. In many ways they are similar, and both do a great job of […]

The food mentioned in So Far From God by Ana Castillo, is an important part of the setting–it definitely sets the book squarely in New Mexico. And it’s authentic, homemade New Mexican fare–no Frito pies here! However, I do have to admit that I was a little frustrated by it. It’s mentioned so matter-of-factly that […]

In So Far From God by Ana Castillo, is, in many ways a quintessential novel of the Chicano experience, so it’s no surprise that the quintessential Mexican-American legend–La Llorona–appears. The basic legend is that La Llorona–literally the Wailing Woman–is a spirit who wanders–usually at night and usually along water–in search of her lost children. In […]

Names in So Far From God by Ana Castillo, are very important. I mean, you know when three of the four sisters are named Faith (Fe), Hope (Esperanza), and Charity (Caridad)–and their mother is Sophia (Sofi)–that their names are symbolic. Next, add in the fact that the fourth is called Crazy (La Loca)–everyone has called […]

So Far From God, by Ana Castillo is, on one level, a modern retelling of the story of the Christian saints Faith, Hope, and Charity–the martyred daughters of Sophia–reworked into the American southwest. On the surface it’s a tale of strong women who rise above the men who abandon them or treat them brutally–much as […]

As I finished The Alaskan Laundry (well, actually, as I started it), we dipped into a “cold” spell here in Los Angeles. I grew up in upstate New York and walked a mile to my local high school every day, even on days when the wind chill was negative 40 degrees, so I am fully […]