Friday, April 15, 2011

American Book Review :: Golondrina, why did you leave me?

Golondrina, why did you leave me?
by Bárbara Renaud González
Buy it Now 
American Book Review
Volume 32, Number 3, March/April 2011

Stuck in Murky Eddies
by Diana López

When, I wonder, will Mexican American men be portrayed as strong and assertive without the brutal aspects of machismo? When will we read about Mexican American mothers who are not silenced victims? When will the settings of these stories move out of run-down houses, barns, and chicken coops? So many have crossed the border and successfully achieved the American Dream with all it promotes: education, jobs with benefits, comfy houses with flea-free dogs. Yet the literature seems stuck in the murky eddies of the Rio Grande.

Golondrina, why did you leave me? by Bárbara Renaud González is a good example. There are powerful passages and poignant scenes in González's novel; however, she, like many other contemporary writers, continues to rely on such stereotypes and the cheating patrón, the broken-down laborer, the long-suffering matriarch.

Golondrina is the story of Amada García. Married to an abusive man, Amada leaves Mexico, and her young daughter, and crosses the border to Texas where she marries again. Her second husband, Lázaro, is not so violent, but he is poor, embittered, and burdened with a terrible sense of disenfranchisement. In a quest for work and for a better home, he and Amada move to different towns in the Southwest. Meanwhile, they have children and struggle to raise them.

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