Sunday, September 07, 2008
Men Without Bliss
Volume 6 in the Chicana and Chicano Visions of the Américas series
from the jacket copy:
Short stories that assess the silent suffering of men
In cities and fields, Mexican American men are leading lives of quiet desperation. In this collection of thirteen startling stories, Rigoberto González weaves complex portraits of Latinos leading ordinary, practically invisible lives while navigating the dark waters of suppressed emotion—true-to-life characters who face emotional hurt, socioeconomic injustice, indignities in the workplace, or sexual repression. But because their culture expects men to symbolize power and control, they dare not risk succumbing to displays of weakness.
González shines an empathetic light into the shadows of Mexican culture to portray characters who suffer in silence—men both straight and gay who must come to terms with their grief, loneliness, and pain. By exploring the private moments of men trapped inside unforgiving stereotypes, he critiques long-held assumptions of Latino behavior. He shows us individuals who must break out of various closets to become fully realized adults, and makes us feel the emotional pain of men in a culture that recognizes only the pain and hardship of women.
Men without Bliss conveys the silent suffering of all men, not just Latinos. It will open readers’ eyes to unexpected facets of Latino culture, and perhaps of their own lives.
Rigoberto González is the author of seven books including Crossing Vines, winner of ForeWord Magazine’s 2003 Book of the Year Award. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and the American Book Award, he is currently Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University–Newark.