Crazy Loco Love

By Victor Villasenor
Arte Publico Press, Hardcover, 9781558853157, 391pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2008

List Price: $26.95*
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Description
From America's most beloved Mexican-American writer comes this compelling memoir of his adolescent search for meaning and identity. When Victor Villasenor turned sixteen, his father's gift of a brand-new, turquoise pick-up truck was accompanied by another gift: words of wisdom that would guide him on his path to manhood. "You are a man now," he said, "and to be an hombre, a man must not only know right from wrong, he must also know who he is and who he isn't." In the weeks to come, however, Victor disregards his father's advice. Swayed by his friends' ridicule, he has his new truck painted white to cover the vibrant turquoise, once his favorite color. Soon, he realizes his mistake. "I'd done exactly what my dad had told me not to. I'd listened to other people's opinions instead of listening to what I'd felt inside." So begins this poignant and moving account of Villasenor's coming of age. Growing up on his parents' ranch in North San Diego County, Victor Villasenor's teenage years were marked by a painful quest to find a place for himself in a world he didn't fit into. During his search, Victor wrangles with the usual questions of adolescence: Is it normal to think about sex all the time? Do good girls like sex? Is sex before marriage a sin? But Victor struggles with more than just his burgeoning sexual awareness. The son of a self-made, successful man, he is different from his peers because of his Mexican heritage, and the experiences both subtle and outright discrimination because of this. Raised in a tight-knit, Catholic family, he questions the tenets of his Catholic faith and the restrictions it places on his own developing spirituality. After high school, Victor's quest for "whohe is and who he isn't" takes him to Mexico, where he is shocked to learn that Mexicans--aside from his father--are successful. They are architects, professors, and artists. This incredible revelation allows him to appreciate his own potential and realize his dreams of making a difference in the world through writing. A powerful portrait of a young boy on the path to manhood in the shadow of his influential father, Crazy Loco Love adds a new chapter to the grand tradition of coming-of-age books. Destined to become a classic, this new installment in Villasenor's body of work confirms his place as a leading American writer. Crazy Loco Love will enthrall his many fans and surely win him new ones.
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