American Dreams

American Dreams

American Dreams

American Dreams

Synopsis

"No one knows how Porfirio entered the United States. Some say he traveled on the winds of a sandstorm, others say he walked over the hills, and still others say he flew. In the first story of this collection, Porfiro, the donkey, follows the very real, human flight north. Whimsical and magical, Porfiro's journey becomes mythologized as part of the lore of the trail of people moving north." "From Dona Asuncion, who by sheer force of will helps her terminally ill son outwit science...to a very exhausted Lady Death who has lost all interest in her vocation...to a bottle-blond phone-sex girl who's looking for love...Gonzalez Viana pens depictions of immigrant life. Infused with the folk traditions of Latin America, these stories follow immigrants as they face fierce challenges in adapting to life on the other side of the border." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Every time we think about Porfirio, we don’t know what to think. Some say he entered the United States on the beach; others are sure he came over the hills, like most of us; and then there are those who would see him flying. They see him float over the hills of Tijuana. They see him dodge the radar posts and escape the infrared lights. They see him levitate, weightless, above the gringo’s helicopters. They see him alighting at the entrance to San Diego just like angels alight, and that is how they see him because Porfirio is small, furry, soft—a donkey inside and out—and though he be every bit a donkey, he is light and airy, so light and airy that when he trots he appears to steady himself, as if he were anchoring himself to the ground, as if he feared the wind would carry him away, and he always goes, he goes—the wind always carries him away.

One of the Espino family’s neighbors informs us that Porfirio was taken across the border during a sand storm one day when the wind blew so forcefully that several Mexican hills crossed over without showing their papers, and an eloping couple with no place to hide was lost in the abundant skies of California. But that can’t be true because not even God can hide Porfirio’s ears when Porfirio gets nervous, or turns stubborn as a mule, or dumb as an ass, and plows on toward the United States in the middle of a storm—invisible, transparent, incorporeal, silent, philosophical, but always an ass—and before . . .

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