The Flowers by Dagoberto Gilb

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Sonny Bravo is a tender, unusually smart fifteen-year-old who is living with his vivacious mother in a large city where intense prejudice is not just white against black, but also brown. When Sonny’s mother, Silvia, suddenly marries an Okie building contractor named Cloyd Longpre, they are uprooted to a small apartment building, Los Flores. As Sonny sweeps its sidewalks, he meets his neighbors and becomes ensnared in their lives: Cindy, an eighteen-year-old druggie who is married and bored; Nica, a cloistered Mexican girl who cares for her infant brother but who is never allowed to leave their unit. The other tenants range from Pink, an albino black man who sells old cars in front of the building, to Bud, a muscled-up construction worker who hates blacks and Mexicans, even while he’s married to a Mexican-American woman. Dagoberto Gilb, in arguably his most powerful work yet, has written an inspiring novel about hate, pain, anger, and love that transcends age, race, and time. Gilb’s novel displays the fearlessness and wit that have helped make him one of this country’s most authentic and original voices.

About Dagoberto Gilb

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Dagoberto Gilb's previous books are The Flowers, Gritos, Woodcuts of Women, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña, and The Magic of Blood, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many magazines, most recently Harper's, The New Yorker, and Callaloo, and is reprinted widely. Gilb is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has been a finalist for both the PEN/Faulkner and National Book Critics Circle Award. He makes his home in Austin.
Published February 17, 2009 by Grove Press. 256 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Flowers

The New York Times

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A coming-of-age novel set against the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Mar 16 2008 | Read Full Review of The Flowers

Bookmarks Magazine

Beatriz Terrazas San Diego Union Tribune 4 of 5 Stars "In his engaging new novel … Dagoberto Gilb, creates a small, original world of imperfect characters, some of whom linger long after the story ends.

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Flowers

Austin Chronicle

Soon after the book begins, Sonny moves with his mother to live with her new husband, a man who owns the small apartment building the book is titled after.

Feb 29 2008 | Read Full Review of The Flowers

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