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American Copia: An Immigrant Epic by Javier O. Huerta

By Javier O. Huerta

“Today I’m going to the grocery store,” starts off this inventive fusion of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. this is often additionally the sentence Javier O. Huerta used to be given to jot down in the course of his naturalization interview. Having lived within the U.S. for two decades already, he was once do away with by way of the simplicity of the sentence. “I desired to inform the INS agent that i'll do issues with the English language that she might by no means imagine,” he writes within the preface.

In this cutting edge paintings that makes use of grocery shops as a guiding motif, he deftly combines English and Spanish to discover his identification as an immigrant, naturalized citizen, son, brother, lover, graduate scholar. Visits to grocery shops within the U.S. and northern Mexico result in questions on himself. “I usually wonder whether i might have grown up skinny had my relatives stayed and purchased groceries in Mexico. The day we crossed the river my seven-year-old physique had no longer an oz. of fats on it,” he remembers.

But he seems to be past his personal own conditions as he explores the abundance of expertise present in going to the grocer. via poetry written in Spanish, a quick play, non-fiction passages or even textual content messages, Huerta delves into matters resembling consumerism and wellbeing and fitness meals to be had merely to a constrained classification of individuals. the various items and issues in American Copia pulsate with all that may be either communal and independent in way of life. males reap the benefits of ladies; humans protest opposed to practices that position company earnings above a good salary for farmworkers; and, occasionally, humans devote acts of violence.

Though Huerta touches on critical matters, a lot of those brief vignettes are quirky and funny. His is an unique, evocative voice that articulates the immigrant standpoint to create a thought-provoking examine the land of lots. this can be a must-read for someone drawn to experimental or Mexican-American literature.

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