"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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Puerto Rican limbs were lost in the sands of Iwo Jima, in Korea, in Nam. You go
to D.C. and you read that wall and you'll also see our names: Rivera, Ortega,
Martinez, Castillo. Those are our names there along with Jones and Johnson and
"See, Chino, any Puerto Rican or any of my Latin brothers and sisters who are
stupid enough to buy that shit . . ." He motioned with his fingers for me to come
closer as if he was going to tell me a secret. I leaned toward him. Then he
Now, it's sad to say, but I've yet to see one of my Puerto Rican students, just one,
prove me wrong. And I know it's not going to be Sapo here." Blessington then
leaned over and took Sapo's drawing from him and crumpled it in his hands.
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