"Terrific stories...Just about perfect" (Entertainment Weekly): Brownsville is the collection that established Oscar Casares as one of the leading voices in the literature of the modern Southwest.
At the country's edge, on the Mexican border, Brownsville, Texas, is a town like many others. It is a place where people work hard to create better lives for their children, where people bear grudges against their neighbors, where love blossoms only to fade, and where the only real certainty is that life holds surprises.
In his sparkling debut, Oscar Casares creates a cast of unforgettable characters confronting everyday possibilities and contradictions: Diego, an eleven-year-old whose job at a fireworks stand teaches him a lesson in defiance; Bony, a young man whose discovery of a monkey's head on his lawn drives a wedge between him and his parents; Lola, whose stolen bowling ball offers an unlikely chance for change. The achievement of Brownsville lies in its remarkably honest portrayal of these lives -- the lives of people whose dreams and yearnings and regrets are at once unique and universal.
"Marvelous...Brownsville resembles early Steinbeck work more than anything else." --Carolyn See, Washington Post