Ocotillo Dreams by Melinda Palacio

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Set in Chandler, Arizona, during the city's infamous 1997 migrant sweeps, Ocotillo Dreams delivers a wallop that resonates in today's volatile immigration debate. In this captivating first novel, author Melinda Palacio skillfully weaves a story of politics, intrigue, love, and trust.

About Melinda Palacio

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Melinda Palacio grew up in South Central Los Angeles and now lives in Santa Barbara and New Orleans. She holds an M.A. in comparative literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. A 2007 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow and a 2009 poetry alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, she co-edits Ink Byte Magazine and writes a column for online journal La Bloga. Her work has appeared in the Squaw Valley Review, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, Buffalo Carp, Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, Maple Leaf Rag III and IV: An Anthology of Poems, among many other publications. Melinda's poetry chapbook, Folsom Lockdown, won the 2009 Kulupi Press Sense of Place award. The author recently completed a full-length poetry manuscript, How Fire Is a Story, Waiting.
Published July 15, 2011 by Bilingual Review Press (AZ). 188 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Isola is startled to find a man, Cruz, asleep in the kitchen, whom she learns he knew her mother well and was one of many undocumented immigrants her mother (as a part of her work with Rescate Angeles) had helped cross the border, learn English, and find work.

Nov 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Ocotillo Dreams


In poet Melinda Palacio's debut novel, Ocotillo Dreams, we meet a young woman named Isola, a green-eyed, "exotic-looking" Mexican-American "often mistaken for Thai or Filipino" whose mother's death couldn’t have come at a worse time in her life.

Jan 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Ocotillo Dreams

A Patchwork of Books

What I never told her and I am divulging today to you is that I paid for her plane ticket, her meals, her reception and her honoraria from my own pocket because the university did not know who she was and was not willing to invite her but they played along pretending that they had paid.

Nov 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Ocotillo Dreams


José Inés García “The Modern Troubadour”: Derailed—the PoliticKs of American Literature Sonia Gutiérrez“As we looked at other anthologies of poetry, covering this period in American poetry, we found ourselves, both as poets and readers, dissatisfied with much of what we saw.” ...

Nov 04 2017 | Read Full Review of Ocotillo Dreams

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