Octavio Solis’ ‘Retablos’ Recounts a ‘Beautiful, Messy’ Youth on the Border

by | Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 12:17 CST
Though its title evokes Mexican folk art, Retablos is closer in effect to that of French pointillism. Its small dabs of vivid color produce a brilliant cumulative effect.
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‘BANG’ Offers a Dark Look at the Human Cost of Mexico’s Drug War

Daniel Peña is not sparing in his assessment of Texas, where farmworkers are poisoned by fertilizer and pesticide, and Mexico, where guessing who will be next to die in the drug wars has become a lottery game.

Daniel Peña’s debut novel reminds me of a bantamweight boxer. Lean and compact, it is packed with energy, ready to land blow after punch after jab on any rea...Read More

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Boom and Bust in Big Spring

"The Kings of Big Spring" conveys the difficulties and deprivations stared down by the Depression era's 99 percent.

Profundity alert: when a book’s subtitle contains the word “American,” never mind the phrase “American Dream,” you know you’re dealing with an autho...Read More


10 Texas Books We Loved in 2017

Get thee to a bookstore.

Of the hundreds of review copies that land in our mailbox every year, only a few dozen books will end up getting the Observer treatment. The criteria for review...Read More