Last night after grading and preparing for classroom workshops I had time to finish Luis Alberto Urrea’s short story collection Six Kinds of Sky. I was unfamiliar with Urrea’s work but I’ve been reading through my list of Latino authors and I have to say there was much to admire. I enjoyed “Mr Mendoza’s Paint Brush” perhaps most out of the collection. Urrea gives a mix of straight story telling and farce and perhaps a bit of the surreal mixing in the story. This seemed to be a constant throughout the stories. I also enjoyed “Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses”–a story about a white guy mourning the loss of his wife. A nice mix of the tragic and the beautiful. I was also intrigued by the final non-fiction essay of the book “Amazing Grace: Story and Writer.” I liked the insight into Urrea’s craft and thought process.
john paul jaramillo
John Paul Jaramillo grew up in Southern Colorado but now lives, writes and teaches in Springfield, Illinois. He holds an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Oregon State University and, currently, works as Professor of English at Lincoln Land Community College. In 2012 his first collection of composite stories The House of Order: Stories was a Latino Book Award Finalist, and in 2013 the editors of Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its 2013 top 10 new Latino authors.