Page 22


…………. , ,W10 OOKS SI THE LTURE The Long Way Home BY SHEA SERRANO Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration By Sam Quinones University of New Mexico Press 326 pages, $24.95 Sam Quinones came to be one of America’spreeminent border journalists almost by happenstance when, in 1994, he traveled to Mexico with the intent to study Spanish. Once there, he became enamored of the Mexican migrants he met and the stories they told. Quinones ultimately ended up living and writing in Mexico for the better part of a decade, spending his time like any other gringo visitor with the cojones to live out his border-adventure fantasies: cavorting with gang members, politicians, transvestites, and the last apostle of a splinter group of polygamous Mormons. From there Quinones would go on to win an Alicia Patterson Fellowship in 1998 and write his first book \(True Tales From Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino, and in 2001 before moving back to the United StatesLos Angelesin 2004. Though moving from Mexico to L.A. isn’t necessarily that big a changeimagine leaving a girlfriend for her smaller, slightly smoggier, but equally Mexican twin sisterit gave him the opportunity to follow Delfino Juarez, the central character in Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream, recently published in paperback. The booka collection of true-life tales of Mexican migrationis an exclamation point on Quinones’ career and solidifies its author’s membership in an elite fraternity of border journalists. Quinones begins by recounting the tale of ‘Antonio’s Gun,” a story about a boy who, following his father’s murder at the behest of his village’s resident tyrant, journeys to the United States to earn money, buy a gun, and avenge his father’s death. He earns the money, gets the gun, and returns to Mexico, never to revisit the States again. Because Mexicans are nothing if not cognizant of other people’s schedules, Antonio even sends the tyrant a card announcing the day he will return to kill him \(which is not only a badass move, but also has to be the worst kind shouldn’t tell you whether Antonio kills the tyrant … but he does. Sorry. Aside from its Tarantino-caliber plot, “Antonio’s Gun” serves as a “parable for what immigrants seek most,” highlighting what Quinones thinks is the underlying reason that immigrants immigrate: not to recolonize the United States, but to escape oppression and ultimately create 28 THE TEXAS OBSERVER AUGUST 8, 2008