Dan Olivas Recommends

“For anyone who is unfamiliar with Rigoberto Gonzalez, it wouldn’t take many pages of reading Crossing Vines, his first novel, to suspect that his prior book was one of poetry, not prose,” Olivas says. “Every paragraph, each sentence possesses the clarity and music of poetry even in recounting the often harsh and always difficult lives of a crew of grape pickers. In a series of vignettes focusing on different characters, Gonzalez allows us into the lives and painful pasts of these workers, all the while steering clear of the melodramatic and cliche when it would be easy to fall into such traps. This is a beautifully rendered, powerful first novel.”

Daniel A. Olivas is the author of several books including most recently Devil Talk: Stories. His stories, essays and poems have appeared in many publications including the Los Angeles Times, The MacGuffin, Exquisite Corpse, THEMA, The Pacific Review, Red River Review and Web del Sol. His first children’s book, Benjamin and the Word, will be published this spring by the University of Houston’s Arte Publico Press.