In these engaging and often gripping short stories, Fred Arroyo takes us into the lives of working-class Hispanic migrants and immigrants, who are often invisible while they work in plain sight across
America. As characters intertwine and evolve across stories, Arroyo creates a larger narrative that dramatizes the choices we make to create identity, make meaning, and deal with hardships and loss.
His stories are linked by a concern with borders, both real and imagined, and the power that memory and imagination have to shape and structure our lives.
Arroyo's stories paint a vivid picture of the migrant class, shining light on those frequently forgotten.
What goes on in the hearts, minds, and souls of people who face
constant physical labor and pain, plus the threat that they might be
arrested at any moment? Fred Arroyo shows us, in his powerful and
Through his characters and their
true-to-life situations, Arroyo makes visible both internal and external conflicts that are deeply rooted in—and affected by—place. A bodega, a university town, a factory, a Chicago street, some
dusty potato fields: here is where we encounter ordinary people who work, dream, love, and persist in the face of violence, bereavement, disappointment, and loss—particularly the loss of mothers,
fathers, and loved ones.
Arroyo's characters experience a strange wonder as the midwestern United States increasingly appears to be a place created by the Latinas and Latinos who remain out
of the sight and minds of Anglos. In lyrical language weighted by detail, exquisite imagery, and evocative story, Arroyo imagines characters who confront the tattered connections between memory and
longing, generations and geographies, place and displacement, as they begin to feel their own longings, "breathing in whatever was offered, feeling, deep in the small and fragile borders of my heart,"
as one character puts it, "that it came with a sorrow I could never betray."