Fresno State alum and former Distinguished Visiting Professor for the MFA program Daniel Chacón has a new book out from Arte Publico Press!
Here’s an early review–and he will be reading from the book at FCC early in May. Watch for it!
Advanced Review – Uncorrected Proof
Issue: April 1, 2013
Hotel Juarez: Stories, Rooms and Loops.
Chacón, Daniel (Author)
Apr 2013. 208 p. Arte Publico, paperback, $17.95. (9781558857681).
A master of narrative brevity, Chacón collects several short fictions, from stand-alone koans to connected
vignettes, under the apt subtitle, Stories, Rooms and Loops. As in the refractive labyrinths of Borges,
Chacón creates parallel characters and perpendicular plots, ensnared in “hidden dimensions, twisted and
curled up like water snakes,” according to one narrator. Chacón’s many storytellers weave tales of sexual
tension and disorientation that play with ethnic and national identities. A young man born in the U.S. to
Mexican parents tries to convince a woman in Paris that he’s anything but American but admits to the
reader, “I wasn’t sure she would understand what it meant to be a Chicano. I wasn’t sure I understood.”
Another set of linked passages enters the infamous city of Juárez, plagued by ultraviolent homicide and
savage drug trafficking. While Chacón spares us the gyring viscera of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 (2008),
Mexico’s unsolved murders haunt a long sequence in which an English instructor risks a visit across the
border. Throughout, Chacón’s prose moves swiftly, doubles back, and echoes itself with tessellated,
— Diego Báez