Capirotada: A Nogales Memoir

Ríos, Alberto Alvaro

Published by University of New Mexico Press, 1999
ISBN 10: 0826320937 / ISBN 13: 9780826320933
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Synopsis: Capirotada, Mexican bread pudding, is a mysterious mixture of prunes, peanuts, white bread, raisins, milk, quesadilla cheese, butter, cinnamon and cloves, Old World sugar—“all this,” writes Alberto Ríos, “and things people will not tell you.”

Like its Mexican namesake, this memoir is a rich mélange, stirring together Ríos’s memories of family, neighbors, friends, and secrets from his youth in the two Nogaleses—in Arizona and through the open gate into Mexico.

The vignettes in this memoir are not loud or fast. Yet like all of Ríos’s writing they are singular. Here is the story about a rickety magician, his chicken, and a group of little boys, but who plays a trick on whom? The story about the flying dancers and mortality. About going to the dentist in Mexico because it is cheaper, and maybe dangerous. About a British woman who sets out on a ship for America with the faith her Mexican GI will be waiting for her in Salt Lake City. And about the grown son who looks at his father and understands how he must provide for his own boy.

This book’s uncommon offering is how it stops to address the quiet, the overlooked, the every day side of growing up. Capirotada is not about prison, or famous heroes. It is instead about the middle, which is often the most interesting place to find news.

From the Publisher: Awarded the Best Biography (English) by the Latino Literary Hall of Fame, June 1, 2000

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Title: Capirotada: A Nogales Memoir
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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