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Reviews 71 ing to the writers’ birthdates beginning with the venerable Frank Waters and concluding with the ebullient Luci Tapahanso, a half century his junior. More importantly, Vision includes discussions with a number of emerging non-Anglo writers such as Pat Mora, Denise Chavez, Joy Harjo, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and Tapahanso. Since much of southwestern literature comes from the ethnic traditions of los mexicanos and los indios as well as mixtures thereof, their observations here are essential, illuminating, and long overdue. True, some readers may object to the editors’ apparent social decision to include Margaret Randall; her sanctimonious posturings should wear thin in short order. Others will surely question the conspicuous absence of a number of gifted writers. But on the whole, This is About Vision sheds light on a number of important regional, national, and even global issues. And that, after all, is what literature is all about. BILL D. TO TH Victor Valley College Of Chiles, Cacti, and Fighting Cocks: Notes on the American West. By Fred­ erick Turner. (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1990. 200 pages, $19.95.) A footloose Turner takes us on a tour of the American West. He gives us a chapter on Billy the Kid, on the history and cuisine of chile, on wild horses eating the grass of irate ranchers, and such. For the most part written with Turner’s usual wit and good grace, the collection touches now and then on the West’s adamantine problems, but it then draws back, as if concerned lest readers’ troubled brows deepen into frowns. Students of the West will not find much new here, but outsiders will be charmed to know that the region remains an exotic reservoir of cockfights and living bandit legends. And lovers of lan­ guage will be charmed with such a Turner trope as “a Phoenix winter evening gathering around us like a great serape.” A bit precious perhaps but apt none­ theless. If this were all, Turner would be home free. To charm is in itself no mean accomplishment. However, the book’s introductory essay creates an expecta­ tion unfulfilled by what follows. Early on, Turner notes that “the West’s colorful past has little enough to do with its current realities,” yet puzzlingly the book often joins the conspiracy, making much of the region’s color rather than probing realities. Then turning churlish, it delivers some rather sharp blows to western writers James Willard Schultz and Will James for having “fully bought the image of the Old Wild West.” The observation may well strike readers as ungenerous, given the book’s own emphasis. PETER WILD University of Arizona ...


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