Burro Genius: A Memoir

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9780060526122: Burro Genius: A Memoir

From one of America's most beloved authors comes a raw and unnerving memoir that explores the transformation of an angry young man into the bestselling author we know today.

When Victor Villase#241;or stood at the podium and looked at the group of teachers amassed before him, he became enraged. He had never spoken in public before. His mind was flooded with childhood memories filled with humiliation, misunderstanding, and abuse at the hands of his teachers. With his heart pounding, he began to speak of these incidents. To his disbelief, the teachers before him responded to his embittered recollection with a standing ovation. Many could not contain their own tears.

So begins a touching memoir of an extremely angry adolescent. Highly gifted and imaginative, Villase#241;or coped with an untreated learning disability (he was finally diagnosed with extreme dyslexia at the age of forty-four) and the frustration he felt growing up Latino in an English-only American school system that had neither the cultural understanding nor the resources to deal with Hispanic students.

Often beaten by his teachers because he could not speak English, Villase#241;or was made to feel ashamed about his heritage, and even questioned the core values prioritized by his tight-knit family. Villase#241;or's dyslexia, and growing frustration over not fitting in, fueled his dream to one day become a writer. He is now considered one of the premier writers of our time.

With his signature passion, his gift as a storyteller, and his own incredible story, Villase#241;or allows readers into the soul of a young life touched by insecurity yet encouraged by a personal sense of artistic destiny. Burro Genius, a complex and inspiring coming-of-age story, is certain to become an American classic.

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About the Author:

Victor Villase#209;or vive en California en el rancho donde fue criado. Es autor de numerosos obras editoriales y aclamadas obras, entre ellas Lluvia de oro, Jurado: La Gente vs. Juan Corona, y #194;#161;Macho!.

Victor Villase#241;or's bestselling, critically acclaimed works, as well as his inspiring lectures, have brought him the honor of many awards. Most recently he was selected as the founding chair of the John Steinbeck Foundation. He lives in Oceanside, California.

From Publishers Weekly:

Growing up in the 1940s on his family's gracious Southern California ranch, young Villaseñor envisions a cowboy's life, just like he's seen in western movies and learned from his loving but occasionally abrasive Mexican-born papá. Reality, however, finds him in the unwelcome company of an American school system where he doesn't fit in and is ostracized thanks to his undiagnosed dyslexia and limited English. Throughout this spirited memoir, novelist and nonfiction writer Villaseñor (who has chronicled his family history in Rain of Gold; Wild Steps of Heaven; Thirteen Senses; etc.) faces an entourage of abusive teachers and embittered classmates who chip away at his confidence, leading him to the brink of adopting a personal philosophy of violence-for-respect. He seeks support in the strength of his close-knit family, especially his brother Joseph. But when Joseph dies of a rare, unexplained disease, Villaseñor tries to embody what made his brother such a hero. Despite all the humiliation, frustration and hardship Villaseñor encounters throughout his youth, he maintains an astonishingly positive and compassionate attitude. His retelling of sometimes humorous, sometimes chilling childhood experience is at once painful and gratifying. He imaginatively and poetically remembers his tumultuous childhood with the simplicity of a child and the introspection of a sage. Photos not seen by PW.
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