Compared to Richard Rodriguez and Sandra Cisneros, Diego Vazquez presents an audacious debut novel about seventeen-year-old Buzzy Digit and his coming of age in 1960s El Paso, Texas. Though already dead, Buzzy's memory remains alive as he narrates his tale while flying back from Vietnam in a casket. Through family crises, parties, infidelities, Little League, and days spent at mercado, we see that he longs to escape what he calls "the yellow canary cage" of Nana Kika's bustling house. The dust and solitude of El Paso oppress him, and his sexual confusion marks him as painfully different from his friends. He drops out of high school just as the government has started a draft lottery for Vietnam, and the first numbers picked are Buzzy's.
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Growing Through the Ugly by Diego Vazquez Jr. begins with a death and then proceeds to examine a life. Both the corpse and the life belong to Buzzy Digit, a casualty in the Vietnam War whose coffin is being transported back to his hometown of El Paso, Texas. As the plane carrying his body takes off, Buzzy's soul also takes flight, reviewing the events of a short life scarred by abandonment, sexual molestation, and fear. Despite these early setbacks, Buzzy learns to transcend his troubles with the help of his cousin, Red. The knowledge of Buzzy's eventual fate invests his struggles to find a place for himself with a bittersweet quality that lingers after the book is done.About the Author:
Diego Vazquez, Jr. teaches in the COMPAS Writers and Artists in the Schools and the Minnesota State Arts Board, Artists in Education Program. His work has appeared in Speaking in Tongues, A View from the Loft, Instant Coffee, and New Chicana/Chicano Writing. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Book Description Owl Books (NY), 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback, 208 pages, BRAND NEW. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000117172
Book Description Holt Paperbacks, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0805057447
Book Description Holt Paperbacks, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0805057447