El Puente/The Bridge by Ito Romo

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This tenderly wrought novel by a gifted new writer about a town on the Rio Grande resonates with pure border voices. Thirteen women--all ages and backgrounds--react in unexpected, humorous, and mysterious ways when one day the river suddenly turns crimson red. The bridge, which the women cross and re-cross in the course of this cycle of stories, becomes a site where the women acquire knowledge about their lives and their landscape as the mystery of the color of the river unravels. Romo illuminates a cross-section of border life in classic, lyrical prose, rich with elements of fable, ancient morality tales, and magic, all the while capturing the extraordinary textures of contemporary border life. El Puente/The Bridge captivates and entertains with its mix of closely observed reality imbued with deep spirituality.

"A story cycle that bridges together, like a string of papel picado, the lives of several women on both sides of the Tex-Mex border. The world, according to Romo, is bizarre, troche moche, heartbreaking, rasquache, endlessly romantic, tender and touching. As funny as a fotonovela, triste as a telenovela and wild as any Fellini."--Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek

"Each voice of the women Romo has created blooms into a real life that we recognize immediately. He has created his own bridge between the seeming ordinariness of the women with an extraordinary event, beautifully told. We stand captivated in the presence of full human beings."--Helena María Viramontes, author of The Moths and Under the Feet of Jesus

"Ito Romo's El Puente/The Bridge will charm its readers--meaning both delight and enchant them. Thirteen women's lives are woven together into the story of a possible miracle, or perhaps it is a hoax, or maybe sabotage with political overtones. Like an old-fashioned folktale, this deceptively simple novel unfolds the secrets of a community. Ito Romo is our storyteller at the border, bridging two cultures and many lives with his first novel."--Julia Alvarez, author of How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, ¡Yo!, and In The Name of Salomé


About Ito Romo

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Romo holds an M.A. in literature from Saint Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas.
Published September 1, 2000 by University of New Mexico Press. 150 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for El Puente/The Bridge

Publishers Weekly

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When the Rio Grande mysteriously runs red, 13 women are among the crowd drawn to a south Texas bridge connecting the U. S. and Mexico in this fictional collage blending Latin and North American motifs

Jul 03 2000 | Read Full Review of El Puente/The Bridge

Publishers Weekly

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Their portraits are framed by the sad tale of Tomasita, a humble housewife first seen at the river scrubbing her bean pot with a Brillo pad, then seeking refuge at the convent where she works and finally meeting her destiny on the bridge.

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