|FROM THIS WICKED PATCH OF DUST|
by Sergio Troncoso
The University of Arizona Press (2011)
Sergio Troncoso has written a wonderful, heart-warming, universal tale of a family. This story can be about any American family and their struggle to work, pay bills, raise children, save them from the streets, get them through college, and live long enough to see their grandchildren.
What’s fascinating about FROM THIS WICKED PATCH OF DUST is that we have not one hero, but a whole family’s worth – Pilar, the mother, who wants to get away from her past and start anew in America; Cuahtémoc, the father, who will do anything for his wife and children even embrace a new country; Julieta, the only daughter, an activist-turned-rebel; Pancho, the caretaker and handyman; Marco, the soldier and teacher; and Ismael, the baby and writer.
Often Pilar looks at her children and thinks: “this family seemed like leaves in the wind, from the same tree, yet floating to their own private destinies.” But that is the fate of all families, be they American, European, Asian, etc. Children grow up and move away to follow their dreams and create their own lives.
Ismael sums up Troncoso’s tale best of all: “I wrote a story. It’s about our family…. It’s about Ysleta. It’s about how we lived, how we tried. It’s about how we were together for a time. I, I didn’t know what else to do…. How else to remember us…. It’s just a story, just words. But it’s what I can do. Its how I can make sure no one ever forgets.”
And, this reader certainly will not forget. Bravo, Sergio, Bravo.