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Reviews 179 Zia Summer. By Rudolfo Anaya. (New York: Warner Brothers, 1995. 386 pages, $26.95/$21.95.) Rudolfo Anaya’s Zia Summer highlights New Mexico’s Hispanic culture as the backdrop for amurder investigationconductedby amacho ex-cop who alsohappens to be the cousin ofthe murdered woman. As Sonny explores the various clues about who killed Gloria, Anaya explores the richness of the West’s Hispanic cultural heritage, whichreallyproves tobe thebetter story. The mystery fails to weave together abelievable string ofevents, instead unravel­ ing into inconsistency andpredictability. For example, at one point we’re told Sonny’s girlfriend isthreatenedbyasatanic cultbecause he’s“gettingtooclose,”but later inthe samechapterSonnyadmits“hisleadshadallcomeupempty.”Andthere’snothingmore damaging to a mystery than predictability. But halfway through the novel everybody knows Anthony Pajaro is Raven, even if they don’t speak enough Spanish to know the translationofthe Spanishpajaro. Somemystery. Nevertheless, in spite of the book’s series ofplot inconsistencies, obvious conclu­ sions, and usual menagerie ofbad syntax and grammar, Anaya’scultural and historical surveyofAlbuquerqueisrewarding. The threads ofhisnarrativeweavethetimelesstale oftheAmericanWest,the struggletogrowintothefuturewhileretainingthepast.When AnayawritesthattheAnglos“werebuildingcitiesonsoftsand,”wedon’tdoubthowhe really feels about the future frontier. R. L. STRENG International Christian School SanJose, CostaRica TheApprenticeshipWritingsofFrankNorris 1896-1898. EditedbyJosephR. McElrath and Douglas K. Burgess. (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1996. 301 + 276pages [twovolumes inone], $65.00/$50.00.) This volume (orvolumes: the twoparts areboundtogether) assembles for the first time all ofNorris’sverifiable writing from the period 1896-1898, almost all published inJohn O’HaraCosgrave’strendy SanFranciscolittlemagazine, TheWave. Norris was Cosgrave’sassistant; heperformedmenial editorial tasks aswell aswritinganonymous­ ly, under pseudonym, andusing his own initials or name. The editors have authenticat­ ed 159 pieces (though Norris may have written others); ofthese, sixty-four have never previouslybeen published inbook form. Thesewritingsarediverseandofmixedquality,butthereaderlikelywillbepleased withyoungNorris’sstandardduringaperiodofnearlyfrantic activity,whichincludeda psychologicalbreakdownofsome sort. TheWave, withaneducated, cosmopolitanaudi­ ence, allowed more freedom than mostjournals of its time, and Norris was allowed to experiment. Norris ranged the Bay Area, writing sports reportage (ever the unrecon­ structed Cal football fan), describing festivals, construction projects, coastal defenses, San Quentin. The future author of the “Epic of the wheat” already delighted in big things—steamengines, wasteincinerators, warships. Hereviewedartexhibitsandplays, interviewedactresses(assignmentsheclearlyrelished), anddiscussedthemannersofthe “NewWoman.” ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
p. 179
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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