Capirotada by Alberto Alvaro Ríos
A Nogales Memoir

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Synopsis

Capirotada, Mexican bread pudding, is a mysterious mixture of prunes, peanuts, white bread, raisins, milk, quesadilla cheese, butter, cinnamon and cloves, Old World sugar—“all this,” writes Alberto Ríos, “and things people will not tell you.”

Like its Mexican namesake, this memoir is a rich mélange, stirring together Ríos’s memories of family, neighbors, friends, and secrets from his youth in the two Nogaleses—in Arizona and through the open gate into Mexico.

The vignettes in this memoir are not loud or fast. Yet like all of Ríos’s writing they are singular. Here is the story about a rickety magician, his chicken, and a group of little boys, but who plays a trick on whom? The story about the flying dancers and mortality. About going to the dentist in Mexico because it is cheaper, and maybe dangerous. About a British woman who sets out on a ship for America with the faith her Mexican GI will be waiting for her in Salt Lake City. And about the grown son who looks at his father and understands how he must provide for his own boy.

This book’s uncommon offering is how it stops to address the quiet, the overlooked, the every day side of growing up. Capirotada is not about prison, or famous heroes. It is instead about the middle, which is often the most interesting place to find news.

 

About Alberto Alvaro Ríos

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Rios is Regents' Professor at Arizona State University, Tempe.
 
Published August 1, 1999 by University of New Mexico Press. 157 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Capirotada

Publishers Weekly

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A master of the coming-of-age story, R os is the author of several short story collections (The Iguana Killer, etc.). Fans of his fiction will recognize the origins of numerous stories in this short m

Aug 02 1999 | Read Full Review of Capirotada: A Nogales Memoir

Publishers Weekly

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A master of the coming-of-age story, R os is the author of several short story collections (The Iguana Killer, etc.).

| Read Full Review of Capirotada: A Nogales Memoir

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