96 pp. | paper | $11.00
by S. D. Navarro
This collection of stories focuses in part on school-age Chicanos and their interactions with Anglo children and adults and in part on the author's adult wartime experiences. The stories explore subtle and at times painful Latino-Anglo relationships with a simple, direct, and emotionally affecting style. In the title story, an Anglo boy competes with a Mexican boy over a period of years to be the valedictorian at a grammar school. The Anglo boy and his mother make an emotional decision that determines how the choice is made. "The Second Day" is the story of a Mexican boy just starting school who overcomes his fears and positively adjusts to his new environment even though he cannot speak or understand English. In "Graham" a Mexican veteran attending his World War II company reunion becomes involved with a couple who are having an illicit rendezvous at the hotel where he is staying.
"This collection reveals a consistent theme: humanity on the margin. I recommend it." Rudolfo Anaya
S. D. Navarro is an eighty-year-old veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. His stories deliver a timeless message about passion, moral and psychological ambiguity, and other dimensions of human nature. The Valedictorian and Other Stories is his first publication.