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Mariposa's Song

A Novel

Peter LaSalle

Publication Year: 2012

Pretty, twenty-year-old Mariposa has entered the U.S. from Honduras by way of Nuevo Laredo, without documentation. She now serves drinks and woos customers as a B-girl—sort of a dime-a-dance arrangement—in a shabby nightclub on the east side of Austin, Texas. Rough work, it's at least giving her a start in America.Between the norteño and cumbia songs the DJ plays, a smooth-talking Anglo out-of-towner who calls himself Bill shows up at the club one Saturday night to sit and casually chat with Mariposa. He smiles and sympathizes; his flattery leads her to reveal the secret pain she has kept hidden so long. But Mariposa has no way of knowing that he's being hunted by police throughout the Southwest.Even in Austin, far from the border, there are dangers more sinister than narcotraficantes or la migra.LaSalle’s intense, haunting novel beckons readers into the shadowy lives of undocumented workers in the U.S. and the difficult choices they must face. Written as a single book-length sentence, Mariposa's Song is also a truly innovative achievement in the novel form itself, as it continually startles and satisfies with stylistic daring and sheer lyrical radiance.

Published by: Texas Tech University Press

Series: The Americas Series

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. v-vii

“Not only is it good policy, it’s good politics.”

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p. ix-ix

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pp. 6-20

. . . and, before that, hurrying from where she lived with her aunt and going to the club that night, she wanted to make sure she was there a bit early, she had no watch, she had two white plastic bangle bracelets on each wrist, they clicked, Mariposa had no watch but she knew about time, how on any job it was good to be early, ...

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pp. 20-41

. . . and she lived now in Austin, in her aunt’s rented place on Chicón Street, sharing the cramped back room with two cousins still little kids, her aunt didn’t like the fact that she worked in a club on East Sixth, but Mariposa promised her aunt she would be ...

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pp. 42-66

. . . and for a while she brought beers to the different tables, Mariposa not thinking of much of anything, which was the way the dream of El Pájaro Verde could be sometimes, but Mariposa thinking of everything, La canción de Mariposa, and while Mr. Álvarez had thought the place would be packed on such a hot ...

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pp. 66-72

. . . and Mariposa saw him there (later she might tell herself she didn’t see him sitting there), she saw him sitting on a stool looking out at everything, taking it all in, the Anglo man (but she did see him sitting there), he was smiling, she was heading back to the bar with her tray, and it was as if Inés must have spotted him at the ...

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pp. 72-96

. . and he had given her a twenty-dollar bill, Mariposa waited for Toni the bartender to get the Budweiser and open it, then she waited for Toni to make change for Mariposa, and Mariposa brought the beer on the tray over to the man, she placed the tray on the shelf along the wall, under more posters for Corona and ...

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pp. 96-113

( . . . and there was a sort of symmetry to the pair of events, because right when the bar would get most crowded on a Saturday night, when the music was loudest and the smoke was thickest, it seemed, first the gang boys would show with the one girl, a beautiful teenage ...

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pp. 113-139

. . . and Mariposa was talking to the Anglo, she didn’t as much as pay any real attention to those two “events” this Saturday night, in fact, she was so caught up with talking to the Anglo, she probably didn’t even notice the wandering vendors who came in and strolled ...

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pp. 139-146

. . . and Mariposa did see Ignacio already looking around, she was sure he was looking around for her, and Inés and the other girls at that table didn’t as much as attempt to approach the contingent, as Ignacio and the young men with him walked away from Mr. Álvarez in his light blue guayabera, Mr. Álvarez having warmly ...

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About the Author

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p. 147-147

Peter LaSalle is the author of several books of fiction, including the novel Strange Sunlight and, most recently, a story collection, Tell Borges If You See Him. His work has appeared in magazines and anthologies such as ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780896727755
E-ISBN-10: 0896727750
Print-ISBN-13: 9780896727816
Print-ISBN-10: 0896727432

Page Count: 160
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: The Americas Series

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