American Book Award winner!
Energetic and darkly humorous memoirs about a childhood divided between Mexico and the United States. . . . The essential tone is of self-deprecating humor about the challenge of explaining a dual identity, a task he accomplishes with passion and understanding.
A candid personal statement, simple, warm, and at times outright moving . . . The book has insight, affords a happy offering of lyrical phrases and images, and yet manages to be a smooth and effortless read. Young readers of mixed background, searching for self-definition in environments that define them as 'other,' will likely find comforting company in these pages. But I suspect it will take mature readers to appreciate some historical and political comments, the pervasive but subtle sense of humor that accompanies the reflective hindsight, and above all, the simple beauty of the writing. . . . Highly recommended.
Urrea's staccato phrases build up to a vivid, often brutal image.
A bruising, powerful memoir. . . . He cuts through the thicket of language and cultural contradictions, offering up both humorous looks at his life and troubling memories. . . . Urrea's honest personal account will trigger anyone's memories of growing up where culture, ethnic identity and language clash. In today's America, that's nearly everyone.
—San Diego Union Tribune
Urrea ia not simply a great writer and a wonderful storyteller; he is completely enamored with words and language.
Lyrical and often painfully funny snapshots of a family damaged as much by alcohol and poverty as by the push and pull of cultures in conflict.
—Dallas Morning News
Nobody's Son is an engaging reflection of life, conflict and spirit. It shows how Urrea applies lessons learned to his own development in his continued search for self.
—Rocky Mountain News
Colorful narratives of family history, boyhood vignettes and social commentary that are at once funny, sad, tough and tender.
The cross-cultural conflicts of Urrea's youth are grist for his literary mill, and he writes about them in a compelling, vivid style laced with self-deprecating humor. His love of the English language—his second language—is as obvious as his mastery of it.