Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Those dear hearts and gentle people...


The day I moved out of my parents' home and into a college dorm--the old "Las Casitas" at UCSB--I met a bunch of guys whom I still love. It was September 1963. This weeked, June 2005, my wife & I drove up to Santa Clara to celebrate the 60th birthdays of two of those guys. What a reunion of we five! We were roomies for several years in Isla Vista, but after we took our BAs, we went into the world. Two of us did time in the Army, another expatriated himself for 11 years, the other two followed relatively normal careers into medicine and law.

But this isn't old home week. I'm wondering where, in Chicano Literature, we have dear hearts and gentle people books? I remember in high school enjoying the heck out of Mary McCarthy's The Group, and feeling instant nostalgia for what I hoped would be my own group of life-long friendships. I enjoyed Alisa Valez-Rodriguez'The Dirty Girls' Social Club, another story of longtime friendships that echos McCarthy's novel in my mind. Then there is Penelope Lively's The Photograph, that I enjoyed less. It's the same kind of story--but not warm and fuzzy-- involving people around my age, and that was cool.

So, where are our novels of friendship and growing older?

No comments: