Loving Pedro Infante
By Denise Chavez
(Washington Square Press, Paperback, 9780743445733, 352pp.)
Publication Date: March 19, 2002
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In the soothing darkness of her local theater, thirty-something teacher's aide and divorcée Teresina "Tere" Ávila looks straight into the smoldering eyes of Pedro Infante and wonders where her life has gone. The impossibly handsome Mexican singer and movie icon died in 1957, but to Tere -- secretary of the Pedro Infante fan club chapter 256 -- he remains an everlasting symbol of the possibility of passion beyond her New Mexico town.
Tere's passions are wasted on Lucio, the married lover who plies her with sweet kisses and false promises. Comfort comes in her adoration for Infante and in the companionship of her best friend, Irma "La Wirma" Granados. Then, one night at the Border Cowboy Truck Stop, Tere is forced to confront reality -- and the choices she must make to reclaim her life.
Denise Chavez is the author of The Last of the Menu Girls and Face of an Angel, for which she won the American Book Award. She is a founder of the Border Book Festival in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she lives.
Exuberant...and relentlessly engaging....Chÿvez has a marvelous ear for the dramatic moment and a fine hand for the comic set piece...a star turn.
Francine Prose O, The Oprah Magazine Vivid, juicy, and extremely appealing....Chávez has created a wonderfully plausible and full-bodied character...[and] given us a funny, delightful, and ultimately moving meditation on the difference and the distance between reality and fantasy, love and lust, real life and the movies.