Luis Alberto Urrea Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Luis Alberto Urrea. Here they are! All 120 of them:

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...There was nothing one could do when love came. It was fast, and it was strong, and if it were not good, then surely God would not have allowed it such power.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Death is alive, they whispered. Death lives inside life, as bones dance within the body. Yesterday is within today. Yesterday never dies.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Words are the only bread we can really share.
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Luis Alberto Urrea
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This is how Heaven works. They're practical. We are always looking for rays of light. For lightning bolts or burning bushes. But God is a worker, like us. He made the world β€” He didn't hire poor Indios to build it for him! God has worker's hands. Just remember β€” angels carry no harps. Angels carry hammers.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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That is the prize: to realize, at the end, that every minute was worth fighting for with every ounce of blood and fire.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Owls visited them at night. Some thought the owls were witches. Some thought they were angels of death. Some thought they were holy and brought blessings. Some thought they were the restless spirits of the dead. The cowboys thought they were owls.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Everybody knew that being dead could put you in a terrible mood.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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On that long westward morning, all Mexicans still dreamed the same dream. They dreamed of being Mexican. There was no greater mystery.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Roses denote grace.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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The world looked to them like a great roll of butcher paper unfurled on a table.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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If it was the Border Patrol’s job to apprehend lawbreakers, it was equally their duty to save the lost and the dying.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
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Poverty ennobles no one; it brutalizes common people and makes them hungry and old.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border)
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The sky peeled back for a moment, and a weak ray of sunset spilled over the scene like the diseased eye of some forgetful god -- the light bearing with it cold in place of heat.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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I’m grateful to the following writers, whose work you should read if you want to learn more about Mexico and the realities of compulsory migration: Luis Alberto Urrea, Γ“scar MartΓ­nez, Sonia Nazario, Jennifer Clement, AΓ­da Silva HernΓ‘ndez, Rafael AlarcΓ³n, Valeria Luiselli, and Reyna Grande.
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Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
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Numbers never lie, after all: they simply tell different stories depending on the math of the tellers.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
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Families came apart and regrouped, she thought. Like water. In this desert, families were the water.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Fat green frogs, the eternally grinning type destined to be shellacked into bizarre poses while wearing mariachi hats and holding toy trumpets and guitars and then sold in tourist traps all over Mexico, jostled lazily in the dappled shadows.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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There is a minute in the day, a minute for everyone, though most everyone is too distracted to notice its arrival. A minute of gifts coming from the world like birthday presents. A minute given to every day that seems to create a golden bubble available to everyone.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Who was to say that God did not use the coyote’s teeth to eat His gifts?
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Who was she to say that God did not use the coyote’s teeth to chew His gifts?
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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These children are so stupid; they think they are the first to discover the world.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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If you were born to be a nail, you had to be hammered.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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From the beginning, the highway has always lacked grace-those who worship desert gods know them to favor retribution over the tender dove of forgiveness. In Desolation, doves are at the bottom of the food chain. Tohono O'Odham poet Ofelia Zepeda has pointed out that rosaries and Hail Marys don't work out here. "You need a new kind of prayers," she says "to negotiate with this land.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
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I can't believe how many students don't read. They want to be writers, but they haven't read anything at all. They have looked at book covers, which usually allows them enough expertise to sneer, but they haven't read the books. How many young poets "don't like" poetry? How many fiction writers don't know Lehane from Nevada Barr?
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Six Kinds of Sky: A Collection of Short Fiction)
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When you died, you died in small doses. You had trouble speaking. You forgot who was beside you. You were suddenly furious and in a panic of outrage. You wished you could be saintly. You wished you weren't so weak. You suddenly felt better and fooled yourself into believing that a miracle was about to happen. Well, wasn't that all a dirty rotten thing to pull on somebody.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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And everyone loved sunsets. The light lost its sanity as it fell over the hills and into the Pacific--it went red and deeper red, orange, and even green. The skies seemed to melt, like lava eating black rock into great bite marks of burning. Sometimes all the town stopped and stared west. Shopkeepers came from their rooms to stand in the street. Families brought out their invalids on pallets and in wheelbarrows to wave their bent wrists at the madness consuming their sky. Swirls of gulls and pelicans like God's own confetti snowed across those sky riots.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Spanish! His family didn't even like speaking Spanish to him. He tried, and they insisted on answering him in English. Though they knew perfectly well that he spoke Spanish as well as they did and better than their children did. Each side had something to prove, and none of them knew what it was.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Big Angel could not reconcile himself to this dirty deal they had all been dealt. Death. What a ridiculous practical joke. Every old person gets the punch line that the kids are too blind to see. All the striving, lusting, dreaming, suffering, working, hoping, yearning, mourning, suddenly revealed itself to be an accelerating countdown to nightfall. ....This is the prize: to realize, at the end, that every minute was worth fighting for with every ounce of blood and fire.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Even if, at the moment, you can't sit down and do the gruntwork of stringing verbs and nouns together, you are writing. It is a way of seeing, a way of being. The world is not only the world, but your personal filing cabinet. You lodge details of the world in your sparkling nerve-library that spirals through your brain and coils down your arms and legs, collects in your belly and your sex. You write, even if you can't always "write." However, writers write. Active, not passive.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Six Kinds of Sky: A Collection of Short Fiction)
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All these women, Huila thought: Mothers of God. These skinny, these dirty and toothless, these pregnant and shoeless. These with an issue of blood, and these with unsuckled breasts and children cold in the grave. These old forgotten ones too weak to work. These fat ones who milked all day. These twisted ones tied to their pallets, these barren ones, these married ones, these abandoned ones, these whores, these hungry ones, these thieves, these drunks, these mestizas, these lovers of other women, these Indians, and these littlest ones who faced unknowable tomorrows. Mothers of God. If it was a sin to think so, she would face God and ask Him why. β€œThe
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Even Ignatius Loyola wavered. That dark night of the soul, man. No one’s immune. It would all be meaningless if you didn’t wonder and doubt. That’s what makes it real. That’s what makes us people. God could have sent angels to flutter around like fairies, delivering rum punch and manna all day on a cosmic cruise ship. But what would that avail us?
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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SHORT FORM OF THE SERENITY PRAYERβ€”FUCK IT.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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The whole family had inherited the bizarre belief system of Antonio and AmΓ©rica: instant coffee was some kind of miracle.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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To my dogs,” he announced, β€œI am a legend.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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This ain’t what we are, homes,” Lalo says. β€œThis is not us. This is the story they tell about us, but it’s not true.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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listen carnales listen to the hymn of it, the lie of it, the prayer of it, the voices singing our names: listen it’s our story, it’s our song,
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Tijuana Book of the Dead)
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My friend,' he said, 'no one is more ired of religion than a priest.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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If you were born to be a nail, you cannot curse the hammer.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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-This young woman is an infernal abortion. She is Satan incarnate, for who is better to portray Satan than a rebellious woman?
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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They breathed. They felt their lungs fill the sky, and they let the dark clouds inside them flow out. Then they connected to the earth.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Big Angel was late to his own mother's funeral.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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If only Mexico paid their workers a decent wage.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
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Cruz made the sign of the cross over them. He hefted his rifle onto his shoulder and walked away. His warriors followed, blessed by the Lord, reconciled, holy in this day He had made, and ready to shoot.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Miguel Angel," he said, "It isn't hard to die. Everybody does it. Even flies do it. Everyone here is doing it. We're all terminal." He had a tear in his eye; Big Angel could see it brimming. "Your schedule is just different from mine.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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What we take from granted in the United States as being Mexican, to those from southern Mexico, is almost completely foreign. Rural Mexicans don't have the spare money to drown their food in melted cheese. They don't smother their food in mounds of sour cream. Who would pay for it? They have never seen "nachos." In some regions of the south, they eat soup with bananas; some tribal folks not far from Veracruz eat termite tacos; turkey, when there are turkeys, is not filled with "stuffing"―but with dry pineapples, papaya, pecans. Meat is killed behind the house, or it is bought, dripping and flyblown, off a wooden plank in the village market. They eat cheeks, ears, feet, tails, lips, fried blood, intestines filled with curdled milk. Southerners grew up eating corn tortillas, and they never varied in their diet. You find them eating food the Aztecs once ate. Flour tortillas, burritos, chimichangas―it's foreign food to them, invented on the border. They were alliens before they ever crossed the line.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
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No wonder Americans seemed crazy to everybody else--they were utterly alone in the vastness of this ridiculously immense land. They all skittered about, alighting and flying off again like frantic butterflies. Looking for--what? What were they looking for?
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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Cutters read the land like a text. They search the manuscript of the ground for irregularities in its narration. They know the plots and the images by heart. They can see where the punctuation goes. They are landscape grammarians, got the Ph.D. in reading dirt.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
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Why was he thinking about work? About the past? It was over. It was all over. He was never going to work again. β€œThis second,” his father liked to tell him, β€œjust became the past. As soon as you noticed it, it was already gone. Too bad for you, Son. It’s lost forever.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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He couldn't believe she was real. She was like some dream, some story old men told youngsters. She made a fool out of him with the slightest grin or pout. She slept in his bed, not beside him, but around him, her aromatic legs and arms wrapped around him, her mouth against his throat, her beautiful thundercloud hair over his face, his chest. He kissed her hair. Took it to his fist and kissed it, breathed it...Oh my God, he thought. He didn't know what it was about her that made him more insane: her belly, or the pale friction of her thighs; the small of her back, or her armpits.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Big Angel had never noticed his mother’s endowment before. Suddenly, she seemed to be blessed with an expanse of pillowy flesh. And she tucked the parrot into that cleavage, adjusting herself as it sank from view, finishing the operation by using her thumb on its head to get it well positioned in the shadows. She adjusted her bust and said, β€œLet’s go to San Diego, boys!
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Rita Vargas caught her breathβ€”the dark was spilling out of the mountains as the sun vanished in the west. The deep purple/blue shadows spread out on the water of the Caribe. The ocean was shadowy, yet at the same time, glowing. The massif green on one side, and velvety black on the other. And below, the lights of the cities scattered and burned, white, yellow, white, looking like gems. Stars. She still recalls it as one of the most beautiful sights she'd ever witnessed, as if the coast of Veracruz were somehow welcoming its sons home. It would have astounded the dead if the could have looked out the windows. Why would they ever have left such a beautiful home for the dry bones and spikes of the desert? If they could have seen what she saw, they might have stayed home.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
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Tomas led a young woman by the hand and walked up into the foothills. Millian, the miner from Rosario, had introduced her to the patron, already buying points for himself. He was no fool. And the girl, no fool either, lifted her skirts for Tomas as he knelt before her, licking his way up her thighs -brown and sweet as candy, at the same time, tart and salty, musky, silken and cold in the warm air, refreshing as the sorbet he licked in Culiacan back when he was a student. She was amazed that this bit of her body could the great master to his knees before her. She was perhaps the most beautiful girl on that whole plain, but he did not her name and felt no need to ask. He pressed his face to her underwear, redolent with the burning scent of her, and he pulled the cotton down, over the bright points of her hips , the shadowy curve of her belly, until the fog of dark hair came into his sight, soft in the moonlight, tickling his face as he bent down to her again. He pressed his lips on the mound of her, breathing her in, tasting her like a dog, as her skirts fell over his head and her fingers pulled his head tighter to her, her legs moving apart in the dark, her beauty falling around him, his greatest gift to him, this flavor, this smell, her scent.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Back at the house. How could you end a whole era and bury a century of life and be home before suppertime? Big Angel could not reconcile himself to this dirty deal they had all been dealt. Death. What a ridiculous practical joke. Every old person gets the punch line that the kids are too blind to see. All the striving, lusting, dreaming, suffering, working, hoping, yearning, mourning, suddenly revealed itself to be an accelerating countdown to nightfall.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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It seems jolly on the page. But imagine poverty, violence, natural disasters, or political fear driving you away from everything you know. Imagine how bad things get to make you leave behind your family, your friends, your lovers; your home, as humble as it might be; your church, say. Let's take it further - you've said good-bye to the graveyard, the dog, the goat, the mountains where you hunted, your grade school, your state, your favorite spot on the river where you fished and took time to think.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border)
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The whole family had inherited the bizarre belief system of Antonio and AmΓ©rica: instant coffee was some kind of miracle. Mexicans of that generation liked to stir a spoonful of coffee powder into a cup of hot water and tinkle it around with a spoon. As if something highly sophisticated and magical were happening. NescafΓ©. CafΓ© Combate. Then they poured Carnation canned milk into it. They thought they were in some James Bond movie, living ahead of the cultural curve. Or maybe they were just sick of coffeepots and grounds.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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AztlΓ‘n (β€œThe Place of the Reeds”) was the traditional home of the Aztecs, a possibly mythical motherland from which the tribe ventured forth on a one-hundred-year walk. It was a land to the north of Mexico City. Chicanos recognize AztlΓ‘n as being in the American southwest, and it came to represent the stomping ground of β€œLa Chicanada,” or the entirety of the Hispanic west. The Aztecs (Mexica, pronounced β€œMeshica,” hence, β€œChicano”) walked south, out of the deserts, on their way to what would become Mexico City. They apparently walked across the Devil’s Highway on their way home.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
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You see, Satan is not a monster. We don't see him when he comes because he has disguised himself in beauty. The devil is, after all, an angel of light. The Morning Star. Do not allow yourself to be seduced by the beautiful side of evil.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Luis Alberto Urrea, Γ“scar MartΓ­nez, Sonia Nazario, Jennifer Clement, AΓ­da Silva HernΓ‘ndez, Rafael AlarcΓ³n, Valeria Luiselli, and Reyna Grande.
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Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
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Brown birds lined up on telephone wires like beads on a cheap Tijuana necklace.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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By the time he realized he was nowhere near Target, he was lost in a housing tract apparently formed entirely of cul-de-sacs.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Progress might be inevitable, but there was no reason they should knuckle under without a fight.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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She is a karateka," La Osa replied. "Nayeli could karate-kick you to death where you sit." "That's hardly feminine." He sniffed. "Perhaps," Nayeli suggested, "it is time for a new kind of femininity.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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He wanted to tell them of the stars. Of the lovers in their hellish graves.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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She reached for him, Cruz Chavez, the only man who had ever pressed his face against her and listened to her heart.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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It was 1965, and he felt he had already lived a hundred years.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Big Angel didn’t speak, just beamed like some small lighthouse.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Pigeons flocked all about the alpine roofline, moving neurotically from palm trees to mortuary to taquerΓ­a and back again, frantic that one of them might have found an onion ring that had been overlooked by the others.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Forty-five minutes of embraces and ostentatious arrivals and all the siblings arranging themselves in the front row and the rings of descendants, like shock waves of a meteor strike, radiating back through the room. Paz,
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Each of the women elaborately ignored the other.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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The elder members of the family never failed to marvel at the attitude of the kids, how Big Angel was a rolling laugh riot to them, arbiter of bad jokes, spiritual insight, ice cream money, and shelter when they were bounced out of their houses or were let out of jail or rehab or needed to come in off the streets at midnight.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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They signed in as Mr. P. Villa and Mrs. S. Hayek.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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Don Pepe was a Mexican man: a fatalist. He meant to impart much more than comfort. He meant that all good things would also end. All joy would crumble. And death would visit each and every one of them. He meant that regimes and ancient orders and cultures would all collapse. The world as we know it becomes a new world overnight.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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They call me Keychain,” Neala said. β€œThat’s interesting,” Little Angel replied. β€œOn account of my teeth’s crooked and they say I could open a beer bottle with my mouth, like a can opener.” Little Angel stood there for a moment. He felt inexplicable love for these two waifs.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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It was as if a dump truck had spilled a ton of humanity into the yard. Bodies were jammed onto the patio, elbowing gently to get at the new macaroni salad and ignoring the mustard coleslaw.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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loud. It was as if God’s violence had come upon them in deepest rage, dropping temples and crushing idols to the ground.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Water Museum: Stories)
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Not real rain, of course. But the sound of it. The sizzle and the whisper and the hiss and the splash of it. The blue light along the faux horizon of the room. The projected banners and veils of rain all around them. Rain like lace curtains, rain like smoke, rain like spiderwebs and flags and wind you could see. Rain that sang to their bones, that ached inside their bellies and their hands, rain that made them thirst and cower and hide. Rain they had never felt yet knew as intimately as they knew their own skins. It was dreadful. Sammy clutched Billy as hard as anyone could, and he wept into her red hair and didn’t care if she knew
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Water Museum: Stories)
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God has worker’s hands. Just rememberβ€”angels carry no harps. Angels carry hammers.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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There were other things, though. There were always more details trailing any good story. Like tin cans on the back bumper of a newlywed’s car. Rattles and pings and wonderful small moments spinning in the wake of a great life.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Better a shamed face than a stained heart,’ Teresita announced.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Queen of America)
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Each of these proud cabrones refusing to apologize for whatever they were mad about. Each one waiting for some sign. And Mama, in the middle, frantic. All she wanted was to see what was left of her family come together, before…Well, before.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Tell me," Big Angel said. "Did I do anything good in your life?" "You gave me the books." It was instantaneous. "Yes. All the books--that was pretty good. I gave you good ones." "And bad ones." "True. But all books are good, man. Imagine no books.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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A life was a long struggle to come to terms with things and to keep some things from others.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Being American was like getting a good shellacking--whatever that meant. He'd heard it, and it sounded right for how he was feeling. These people did things all day long. They were frantic. They ate lunch in their cars and never had a siesta. They even went to church in their cars. Or on their TVs.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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He believed he was celebrating them when he shared stories of their foibles. He felt the burden of being their living witness. Somehow the silliest details of their days were, to him, sacred. And he believed that if only the dominant culture could see these small moments, they would see their own human lives reflected in the other.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Big Angel was aware of the sad steps of the dance. It cost him great effort to speak now. When you died, you died in small doses. You had trouble speaking. You forgot who was beside you. You were suddenly furious and in a panic of outrage. You wished you could be saintly. You wished you weren’t so weak. You suddenly felt better and fooled yourself into believing that a miracle was about to happen. Well, wasn’t that all a dirty rotten thing to pull on somebody.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Minnie said, "Better not to ask." "That's our family in a nutshell." "You got that right.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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He was nearly erased by all the tragedy falling upon him. His MamΓ‘ had still ironed his shirts until she was taken ill. Everything on Earth was filled with sorrow. Little yellow weeds that broke through the tarmac made him feel weepy. The moon, like some pale paper cutout in the morning sky, overwhelmed him.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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Big Angel stood in the shadows of the living room, buffeted by stories of the past, things he remembered and things he had learned. Or maybe things he had dreamed. He could no longer tell the difference. The stories flew in like wind through an open window and whirled around him. He could feel them almost pull him off his feet. They seemed to come by their own volition, leaping over years, ignoring the decades. Big Angel found himself in a time storm. He saw it all as if the past were a movie in the Las Pulgas theater.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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On the cool October morning when Cayetana Chavez brought her baby to light, it was the start of that season in Sinaloa when the humid torments of summer finally gave way to breezes and falling leaves, and small red birds skittered through the corrals, and the dogs grew new coats.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Some of the women, it must be said, had not yet accepted the idea that a woman could be Municipal President. They had been told that they were moody and flighty and illogical and incapable for so long that they believed these things.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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shook her, this place. It was awful. Tragic. Yet… yet it moved her. The sorrow she felt. It was profound. It was moving, somehow. The sorrow of the terrible abandoned garbage dump and the sad graves and the lonesome shacks made her feel something so far inside herself that she could not define it or place it. She was so disturbed that it gave her the strangest comfort, as though something she had suspected about life all along was being confirmed, and the sorrow she felt in her bed at night was reflected by this soil.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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Somewhere in that vast tapestry of interwoven odors, Angel was sure he could smell the dead. Not their bodies, but their souls. His newest theory was that the dead came as ghosts in sudden finger-thin wafts of perfume or cigarette or hair’s sweet soap scents when it was drying in the sun…
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The House of Broken Angels)
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P.S. Do no violence. Kill no one.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Life was generous: it gave a man a thousand things to be pissed off about.
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Luis Alberto Urrea
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Is it a crime to want to be good? she cried
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Bees are excellent engineers, better than even you. They are are hard workers...They are as brave as Indian warriors. And they make honey. Far better than humans, my friend.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Our power comes from the earth
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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I am in the earth and the earth is in me
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Life shifting, as life does
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Gringos! They have copied us again
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Julian wore his favorite good-luck red-striped soccer jersey. He was planning to make money to build cement walls for his mother's house. He was recently married, and he and his wife were expecting a child that October. His father said Julian had promised to "always behave with respect," and that he would do nothing to cost his father his feelings of pride. He had a note from his bridge in his pocket.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
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La palabra β€˜migraciΓ³n’ significaba para los de Tres Camarones la temporada en que el atΓΊn y las ballenas pasaban rumbo al norte por la costa, o cuando las guacamayas llegaban del sur. No sabΓ­an de otro significado
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Luis Alberto Urrea
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The government knew a secret that the American public didn’t: the numbers of border crossers were down, across the board. Maybe the fence, maybe the harsh new atmosphere
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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TomΓ‘s rode his wicked black stallion through the frosting of starlight that turned his ranch blue and pale gray, as if powdered sugar had blown off the sky and sifted over the mangoes and mesquites.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Every Mexican was a diluted Indian, invaded by milk like the coffee in Cayetana's cup.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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She patted Teresita on the head. She was five years older when she rose than when she'd sat down.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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The People crossed themselves. They knew a Jesus reference when they heard it.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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The honeysuckle made the People particularly happy, since it attracted holy hummingbirds, and as long as hummingbirds hovered nearby, things would be all right.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Still. We are both man and woman. My brothers can be tender as mothers with their infants. Women can fight like tigers. Do you see? We are all a mix of each. Power starts when you strike the proper balance. Believe me when I tell you that the woman part of you is the better part. But you are also a man.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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She learned that women were braver than men. Braver and stronger. She learned that she herself could one day stretch open as wide as a window, and it would not kill her.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Is she laughing at me?'' Cruz said. Both of his men replied, 'Yes.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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For every bad thing in life, mezcal. And... for every good thing, too.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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I dreamed of a hummingbird made of sky.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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Padre,' TomΓ‘s replied, 'my only confession is that I do not believe in confession.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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The Sinaloans had heard that the Sonorans indulged in the unspeakable atrocity of eating flour tortillas. Flour! Any human being knew that tortillas were made of corn.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter)
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The armored creatures wrestled one another, and when one seemed about to climb out of the basket and make its escape, the others would grab it and haul it back down into the endless battle.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North)
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Came home to find the Sting CDs gone. Odd. He thought she must have taken the boom box into the kitchen to wash the dishes. But the boom box was also gone. He looked in the bedroom - the bed was stripped. He said aloud, β€œIf the tampons are gone, you have left me.” The medicine cabinet was bare.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Water Museum)
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She bent over the table and proceeded to tip the pitcher over each plate and spill a thick white goo over everything. It covered the turkey and the yams and puddled all over each plate. Roughly the texture of heavy whipping cream. Decker couldn’t, by god, tell what that was supposed to be. β€œWhat is that?” he asked. β€œGravy?” Stung, Araceli backed away from the table and clutched the pitcher to her heart. β€œIs los mash potatoes!” she cried and ran to the kitchen in humiliation. They could hear her crying in there. Dexter rose. β€œGod. Damn. It,” he announced. β€œLook here. This is my country. This is my country. We been here, working this land, forever. We made our lives here. We planted crops here. We had our children and - and we buried our loved ones here. Right here! Is it too goddamned much to ask that somebody pay the slightest fucking attention to our traditions and history and stop wrecking everything? Could you learn the language? Could you cook a simple meal that anybody from here would recognize as real food? Am I asking too much?” He was red in the face and shaking. He was embarrassed about the whole thing - ashamed of his comment to Araceli, ashamed to have shown his emotions, ashamed that he had tears in the corners of his eyes. Outbursts were simply not the West Linden way. Reverend Visser just stared at his own hands with his head bowed. Juan fingered the arrowhead, spun it around and around with one finger. He didn’t want to eat the goopy mash potatoes either. β€œYeah, Jefe. That’s what Geronimo said.
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Water Museum)
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Dead in Their Tracks by John Annerino
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Luis Alberto Urrea (The Devil's Highway: A True Story)
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[W]hen your politics no longer have room for empathy, things spin into an amoral chaos. Not only the desperate suffer. Who gets hurt and who stays safe becomes hard to predict.
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Luis Alberto Urrea