Kafka in a Skirt (Paperback)

Stories from the Wall (Camino del Sol )

By Daniel Chacón

University of Arizona Press, 9780816539918, 168pp.

Publication Date: October 29, 2019

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This is not your ordinary short story collection. In his newest work, Daniel Chacón subverts expectation and bends the rules of reality to create stories that are intriguing, hilarious, and deeply rooted in Chicano culture. These stories explore the concept of a wall that reaches beyond our immediate thoughts of a towering physical structure. While Chacón aims to address the partition along the U.S.-Mexico border, he also uses these stories to work through the intangible walls that divide communities and individuals—particularly those who straddle multiple cultures in their daily lives.

Set in El Paso and other Latinx-dominant urban spaces, Kafka in a Skirt is an immersive look into the myriad lives of the characters who inhabit these culturally diverse areas. Chacón masterfully weaves elements of the surreal and fantastic through a shining tapestry of fiction, creating moments of touching realism in contrast with scenes that are fascinatingly unfamiliar. Occasionally teasing the ghosts of Jorge Luis Borges and the Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik, this collection disregards boundaries and transports readers into a world merely parallel to our own. Kafka in a Skirt unravels the intricacies of culture, sexuality, love, and loneliness in a collection that shows the personal implications of barriers while remaining hopeful and bright.

About the Author

Daniel Chacón is a professor of creative writing at the University of Texas, El Paso. He earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon. He is the author of several books, including the The Cholo Tree and Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms and Loops, which won the 2014 PEN Oakland Award for Literary Excellence.

Praise For Kafka in a Skirt: Stories from the Wall (Camino del Sol )

“Hold on tight, author Daniel Chacón’s Kafka in a Skirt takes you on a witty rollercoaster ride through Chicano life and beyond the wall.”—Alfredo Corchado

“No Chicano/Latino literature collection is complete without the works of Daniel Chacón, who, with his unique humor and insight, invites us to see the world in a fresh and surprising way.”—Reyna Grande

“Daniel Chacón’s collection of stories challenges convention and resolution, offering us thought-provoking insights into our current (and oftentimes surreal) political climate. Kafka in a Skirt breaks new ground in the art of social commentary that highlights the strangeness of our human condition and the follies of the skewed perceptions we maintain of ourselves, our neighbors, and the troubled world we live in.”—Rigoberto González

“'Kafka in a Skirt' is a literary experience that you will not soon forget. It has the power to change how you think about literature, life and relationships. And it will likely leave you with a desire to experience more of the universe through the mystical glow of Chacón’s imagination.”—El Paso, Inc.