David Rice maintains a skillful balance of humor and sensitivity in Give The Pig A Chance & Other Stories. Set in the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas, his stories tap such universal concerns as coming-of-age, violence, and family relationships. They are both humorous and edgy, and Rice is particularly good at depicting the lives of children, their illogical worldview and casual cruelties. The title story, in which two estranged cousins are reunited after the accidental death of a beloved potbellied pig, and "Tina La Tinaca", in which a grieving woman grows so obese that on her death an emergency crew must widen the doorway of her home in order to remove her body, display Rice's knack for combining the ridiculous with pathos. Culture and place figure prominently in Rice's work, which explores issues surrounding contemporary Mexican American life near the border. Rice combines a ability for writing with a gift for observation and an talent for imagination. The results re well written, universally perceptive, memorable stories! --Midwest Book Review
From Publishers Weekly:
Edcouch, Texas, is a small town on the Mexican border that aspires to the 2683 inhabitants claimed by its highway sign. "But I don't think Edcouch really had that many people unless the sign took into account various farm animals and wandering pets," writes Rice, a student at South Texas State University, in his first collection of short stories. Rice offers sensitively rendered stories written in an appealing style, but unfortunately, no new ground is broken in these 14 tales of the (mostly) Mexican Americans living in dusty burgs. Rice wisely resists the temptation to focus on magic-realistic quirkiness and instead looks at the everyday mix of cultures, as in the most successful story, "The Circumstances Surrounding My Penis," where a boy's slight physiological difference earns him years of embarrassment until broader experience helps him figure out what it's all about. The stories are pleasant enough individually, but gathered into a collection, they lack the punch to carry readers through to the end.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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