and other Barrio Stories
By Kleya Forté-Escamilla
There’s no story that the Storyteller can’t bring you home from. But in the barrio, her hot pink fluorescent Nike Airs are all that she has to barter for your soul. While the Storyteller leaps tall Teflon cactus, stops powerful locomotives with a story thread and burns up the devil incarnate, the people of the barrio stories quietly and courageously triumph over poverty and despair. Kleya Forté-Escamilla gives us worlds of real and magic possibility.
In The Storyteller with Nike Airs and other Barrio Stories, Forté-Escamilla returns to where her strength lies: writing about small towns brimming with realistic depictions of Latinas and Chicanas, abuelitas y tias, hermanitas y tortilleras. She refers to the stories in the acknowledgments as her "memories, the voices I hear in my waking dreams. Voices that are my own voice, but are not my own." From first to last, thirteen echoes of those voices showcase her imaginative versatility, and her remarkable talent for creating indelible word portraits.
—Teri de la Pena, Lambda Book Report
The triumph of spirit over despair is a theme throughout, and in each story Forté-Escamilla has created a wonderful sense of place, whether the setting is desert or city.
—The Bay Guardian
[Forté-Escamilla’s] people…are written with such complexity and fullness of dimension that they become unforgettable.