"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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Someone yelled "Alleluia!" "He treated her like she was his flesh. Like she was
gold, silver, and jewels. Me oyen? Ustedes me oyen?" Yes, we hear you, the
congregation murmured in unison. Blanca and Claudia were hanging on this
Alleluia! "A whore!" Alleluia! "A prostitute!" Alleluia! "A slave girl to the nations
again!" Roberto's words rushed one after another, like a Catholic reciting the
rosary. "And you know who her king was. Don't tell me you don't know who her
"You have two minutes to give an excuse to your alleluia wife and her alleluia
friends cuz you comin' with me," he said. "I can't go wi'choo, bro. I got things to
finish." "You's comin, Chino. Now, I've done a lot of things in my days but I ain't
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