Barefoot Dogs

Barefoot Dogs Cover

Barefoot Dogs

Stories

By Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781476784960, 160pp.

Publication Date: March 10, 2015

Description
An unforgettable debut of linked stories that follow the members and retinue of a wealthy Mexican family forced into exile after the patriarch is kidnapped.
On an unremarkable night, Jose Victoriano Arteaga the head of a thriving Mexico City family vanishes on his way home from work. The Arteagas find few answers; the full truth of what happened to Arteaga is lost to the shadows of Mexico's vast and desperate underworld, a place of rampant violence and kidnappings, and government corruption. But soon packages arrive to the family house, offering horrifying clues.
Fear, guilt, and the prospect of financial ruination fracture the once-proud family and scatter them across the globe, yet delicate threads still hold them together: in a swimming pool in Palo Alto, Arteaga's young grandson struggles to make sense of the grief that has hobbled his family; in Mexico City, Arteaga's mistress alternates between rage and heartbreak as she waits, in growing panic, for her lover's return; in Austin, the Arteagas housekeeper tries to piece together a second life in an alienating and demeaning new land; in Madrid, Arteaga's son takes his ailing dog through the hot and unforgiving streets, in search of his father's ghost.
Multiple award-winning author Antonio Ruiz-Camacho offers an exquisite and intimate evocation of the loneliness, love, hope, and fear that can bind a family even as unspeakable violence tears it apart. A straight-on jab to the soul (Ben Fountain, author of "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"), "Barefoot Dogs" is a heartfelt elegy to the stolen innocence of every family struck by tragedy. This is urgent and vital fiction.


About the Author
Antonio Ruiz-Camacho has worked as a journalist in Mexico, Europe, and the United States. A 2009 John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University and a 2014 Dobie Paisano Fellow in Fiction, Ruiz-Camacho earned his MFA from the New Writers Project at the University of Texas at Austin. He is from Toluca, Mexico, and lives in Austin, Texas, with his family.


NPR
Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015

Alan Cheuse reviews Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's first book, a collection of interwoven short stories called, Barefoot Dogs. He's a Mexican-born writer who spent much of his career as a reporter. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Sunday, Mar 8, 2015

In his collection Barefoot Dogs, Antonio Ruiz-Camacho offers varying perspectives on the kidnapping of a Mexican patriarch. He asks: "How do you reach closure when someone you love has disappeared?" More at NPR.org

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