Fresno State alum and former Distinguished Visiting Professor for the MFA program Daniel Chacón has a new book out from Arte Publico Press!
Here’s an early review–and he will be reading from the book at FCC early in May. Watch for it!
BOOKLISTAdvanced Review – Uncorrected ProofIssue: April 1, 2013Hotel Juarez: Stories, Rooms and Loops.Chacón, Daniel (Author)Apr 2013. 208 p. Arte Publico, paperback, $17.95. (9781558857681).A master of narrative brevity, Chacón collects several short fictions, from stand-alone koans to connectedvignettes, under the apt subtitle, Stories, Rooms and Loops. As in the refractive labyrinths of Borges,Chacón creates parallel characters and perpendicular plots, ensnared in “hidden dimensions, twisted andcurled up like water snakes,” according to one narrator. Chacón’s many storytellers weave tales of sexualtension and disorientation that play with ethnic and national identities. A young man born in the U.S. toMexican parents tries to convince a woman in Paris that he’s anything but American but admits to thereader, “I wasn’t sure she would understand what it meant to be a Chicano. I wasn’t sure I understood.”Another set of linked passages enters the infamous city of Juárez, plagued by ultraviolent homicide andsavage drug trafficking. While Chacón spares us the gyring viscera of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 (2008),Mexico’s unsolved murders haunt a long sequence in which an English instructor risks a visit across theborder. Throughout, Chacón’s prose moves swiftly, doubles back, and echoes itself with tessellated,Alhambra-like layering.— Diego Báez