Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-9

Contents

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pp. 10-15

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Carnival for the Gods

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pp. 1-15

It was the first time Dusty had ever backhanded her, and it was not just the blow, the pain, the blood from her lip flowing saltily into her mouth that gave Alta the shock: it was the sense that something fatal had struck at the roots of her life...

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Getting an Education

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pp. 16-30

Most of the neighbors took in the oddities of Findlay Brightwood the same way they took in everything else: the domestic quarrels of the Ryans; the untidy family life of Dr. Kiely— Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat—whose wife let the kids run wild...

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Reunion

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pp. 31-56

"Well, Jarve, you old sinner, it's about time," Alison said as she met me on the porch. She gave me a little peck on the cheek, then stood back to make inspection. "You've gotten skinny as a rail, Jarve," she said, "and pretty thin on top. The...

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The Ink Feather

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pp. 57-69

From inside, their voices rose, interlocked in quarrel. Adrian shouting as he always did, Mama protesting in her ragged way. She's fighting back, Willa told her dolls, Clarise and Isabelle, without conviction, as she sat on the swing in the...

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On the Eve of the Next Revolution

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pp. 70-80

Their last day in Guanajuato, the three of them—Sol and his wife, Evelyn, and their son Steve—drove up to the statue of Pipila, who stands with raised torch on a hill above the city. They climbed the narrow stairs inside that go up to the head...

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Sirens and Voices

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pp. 81-105

After Herman Carmody and his wife, Bobbie, had made love with gratifying ardor and lain for a time in each other's arms and he had finally fallen into a profound sleep, Bobbie lay staring into the darkness. Two dogs kept her awake with their...

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Black Hole

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pp. 106-116

That afternoon when they were together, it struck Ruth that she and her mother could have been any two women joined by a cup of coffee. As if their relationship had moved up or down a notch. Her mother had her shoes off, her legs folded on the...

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Land of Promise

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pp. 117-130

The end of the day: time to close. She had been on her feet all day and her legs ached. And she had gotten practically zilch out of Angie, the little girl she was training for behind the counter—slow as molasses and no head for even simple arithmetic...

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July

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pp. 131-143

Something was happening to the old man, that was clear. As though someone had lifted his mind from the rest of him, as one might steal a sombrero and leave a man bareheaded in the sun. Just that morning, July had had to catch him by the...

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Lucinda

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pp. 144-155

The night before, Alex had come, arriving sometime after midnight. Pilar sat up in bed, first hearing the car door slam, then the sound of the key in the lock. She slipped out of bed without turning on the light, hoping not to wake Lucinda...

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Of Memory and Desire

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pp. 156-166

The boy is become a legend now in these parts, in the way of things that lie partly buried in the past, partly out of it, like the ruins of the Indians who once lived here, or like the pichu cuate, the snake said to live in this region, so deadly that one...