In Every Night Is Ladies' Night, we are given a rare glimpse into a world created by the imagination of one of America's most promising authors.
This brilliant debut collection of interrelated stories presents a portrait of a community whose members seek their own place beyond their immediate, physical world. The cast of recurring characters Jaime-Becerra has expertly created rings true: people whose hands show signs of hard work, who are optimistic enough to want to dance even if their feet are tired, and who go to bed at night and know just how long they are allowed to sleep before the obligations of their next day begin.
From a teenage boy who lives in the shadow of his wild Goth sister, to a race car driver hot after the Mexican beauty queen of his dreams, to Grandpa Lopez, an on-the-road trucker who surprises his family by showing up for his granddaughter's wedding only to peel away with her dress on the day of the ceremony, readers will wholeheartedly engage themselves in Jaime-Becerra's vibrant, literary universe.
Michael Jaime-Becerra shines a warm light on mechanics and musicians, on drivers of ice cream trucks and big rigs, on kids busy marking themselves with tattoos; he allows readers a unique vantage as the characters fall in love, make ends meet, and try to outlast their pasts. To help his characters negotiate the obstacles life places before them, Jaime-Becerra draws upon an attentiveness for rich, tender detail tempered by a masterful subtlety. These qualities suggest the talent of an author who is equal parts artist and craftsman. More important, they have resulted in a collection that is universal and stunning.
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Michael Jaime-Becerra was raised in El Monte, California. He still lives in the area and is at work on a novel.From Publishers Weekly:
Intimate and sweetly slangy, this collection of 10 interconnected stories set in the hardscrabble, blue-collar town of El Monte captures the essence of Latino life in Southern California. Many of the characters and story lines revolve around the up-and-down fortunes of the Cruz family, starting with "The Corrido of Hector Cruz," which involves the efforts of an auto shop owner to balance the concerns of his newly pregnant wife with those of his troubled nephew Lencho, who comes to live with the couple after getting out of prison. Five years later, in "Riding with Lencho," Lencho must battle his girlfriend, who doesn't appreciate his attempts to educate himself by taking college night classes while working full-time as a mechanic. Jaime-Becerra adds some nice local color in "Georgie and Wanda," in which a stock car racer tries to quell his driving fears after a near-deadly wreck, while striving to win the heart of a Mexican trophy queen. The tour de force story in the collection is "Media Vuelta," which describes the journey of an older mariachi musician to Southern California to find his first wife. Instead, he runs into Lencho, who demands a musical performance in exchange for his help in the search. Jaime-Becerra's characters are notable for their innocence and good intentions. When they get into trouble‚€"which is often‚€"it's because of their surroundings. The author's ability to get inside the hearts and minds of his characters helps the collection rise above the general run of Spanglish-flavored fiction, as does his evocative, superreal scene-setting ("Mom's Tercel stalls at the signal on Durfee") and the immediacy of his present-tense prose, despite some awkward phrasings. The result is a collection that succeeds at several levels while establishing Jaime-Becerra as a writer to watch.
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Book Description Rayo. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060559624 Ships promptly. Bookseller Inventory # HGT3056DCGG021017H0476
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Book Description Rayo, New York, NY, U.S.A., 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First Edition, First Printing. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Signed by author on title page. New, unread copy, in fine, mylar-protected dust jacket. L17. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 9744