This debut story collection “masterfully navigates adverse conditions of migrant life while . . . managing to find joy and amusement, love and triumph” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Gordo brings readers inside a migrant workers camp near Watsonville, California in the 1970s. At the heart of these interrelated stories is a young, probably gay, boy named Gordo, who must find a way to contend with the notions of manhood imposed on him by his father. As he comes of age, Gordo learns about sex, watches his father’s drunken fights, and discovers even his own documented Mexican-American parents are wary of illegal migrants.
We also meet Fat Cookie, high schooler and resident artist who runs away from home one day with her mother’s boyfriend, Manny. And then there are Los Tigres, the twins who show up every season and whose drunken brawl ends with one of them rushed to the emergency room in an upholstered chair tied to the back of a pick-up truck.
These scenes from Steinbeck Country are full of humor, family drama, and a sweet frankness about serious questions: Who belongs to America and how are they treated? How does one learn decency when grown adults must fear for their lives and livelihoods?
Gordo “announces a vibrant new voice on the literary scene, at once wise and authentic and supremely gifted” (Booklist, starred review).
Finalist for the 2022 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction