"A new and authentic voice of the urban Latino experience." --Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I Was Puerto Rican
In a stunning narrative combining the gritty rhythms of Junot Diaz with the noir genius of Walter Mosley, Bodega Dreams announces the arrival of a writer who The Village Voice has already hailed as "a Writer on the Verge."
The word is out in Spanish Harlem: Willy Bodega is king. Need college tuition for your daughter? Start-up funds for your fruit stand? Bodega can help. He gives everyone a leg up, in exchange only for loyalty--and a steady income from the drugs he pushes.
Lyric, inspired, and darkly funny, this powerful debut novel brilliantly evokes the trial of Chino, a smart, promising young man to whom Bodega turns for a favor. Chino is drawn to Bodega's street-smart idealism, but soon finds himself over his head, navigating an underworld of switchblade tempers, turncoat morality, and murder.
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"Okay." "I remember when they would call you on the loudspeaker to go down to
the office and paint this for Mrs. So-and-So, or paint a mural for an assembly. It
happened a lot. Sometimes you would 16 ERNESTO QUINONEZ.
Okay?" Pause. "And Chino, thanks for taking Victor, all right?" "Yeah, all right.
Just get me her address. And listen, they're going to keep Victor overnight for
observation. So you can come and pick him up tomorrow, okay?" I was ready to
"Okay." I was in no position to bargain. When your wife says she's leaving you,
whether it's for a few days or months or forever, you don't object. You just let her
go. You might want to ask her if she needs money, but in our case Blanca always
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - BtB_Library - LibraryThing
Bodega Dreams features really well-written, sympathetic characters living in Spanish Harlem. With a gripping, detailed portrayal of the neighborhood and a fast moving plot that's very easy to get ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - marciathing - LibraryThing
The books by Ernesto Quinonez were my first introduction to Spanish Harlem. Thanks to my Midwestern existence, and even to some years in S. Texas, I had never known this place existed. Both his novels are fantastic and engrossing. I'm looking forward to more. Read full review
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