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Six Kinds of Sky

Publisher's Weekly for Booksellers

Reviews in the News: A Trio of Multicultural Short Story Collections

American Book Award nonfiction winner Luis Urrea has written a slim volume of short stories that are eloquent, funny, passionate, tragic, Mexican, Indian, gringo and moving.

Lipmagazine writes: "To say that Luis Alberto Urrea's words dazzle is to commit a grave understatement. In Six Kinds of Sky, they shimmer, laugh and lilt their way across a great poetic expanse.... This is one of the finest collections of short fiction likely to emerge this year."

Urrea writes with wit and ingenuity as he richly draws from his mixed ethnicity--his mother was Anglo, his father Mexican.

Tony Beckwith writing in the Dallas Morning News, describes the story A Day in the Life: "...there is a bittersweet account of life among the scavengers who live in and off the Tijuana trash dumps. Closely observing a world that is as bleak as one could imagine, the author records the sometimes raw, sometimes poignant humanity of these people clinging to the final link of our society's food chain. In an exquisitely ironic scene, missionaries from San Diego distribute food to the scavengers. Juanita looks at a can of escargots with a picture of snails on the label. 'My God,' she says, 'gringos eat bugs,' and throws the can away."

In the story Taped to the Sky, a man, whose wife has suddenly left him for her 12-step therapist, takes to the road, aimlessly driving hundreds of miles. When his car breaks down in the middle of Wyoming, a Native American man helps him discover the real reason for his journey.

In Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses, a man struggles painfully after the Sioux woman he marries succumbs to alcoholism; while Father Returns From the Mountain is an eloquent story of a man coming to grips with his father's death in an auto accident.

"These well-crafted stories take us on a ramble under six different kinds of sky, from the endless starry night of Mazatlan to the wide-open spaces of the Sioux Nation in South Dakota. Taken together they seem to trace an arc that, from a distance, looks like the path taken by
a boy on his way to becoming a man. And getting to know himself and his world along the way," concludes Beckwith.

Raves the San Francisco Chronicle: "Short, direct sentences and pitch-perfect dialogue build into original studies of passion, restlessness or mischief, one detail at a time."

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