The Importance of a Piece of Paper by Jimmy Santiago Baca

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



In his first foray into short fiction, award-winning poet and memoirist Jimmy Santiago Baca explores the territory where old-world traditions meet new-world ambitions, and characters try to make something of themselves, while keeping their souls intact. In "Matilda's Garden," an old farmer pines for his wife of fifty years who died in her sleep one night months before. He is lured to the garden in the middle of the night by what he thinks is her presence, only to meet a gruesome fate. In "The Importance of a Piece of Paper," two siblings must face the brother who has betrayed them by selling his share of the family land, leaving an entire community vulnerable. In "The Three Sons of Julia," a long-suffering mother whose one request is that all her sons come home for the fourth of July, watches her dream burst as two of her sons-one a successful businessman and the other a hard-drinking ex-con-nearly destroy her house, and each other. Merging a refreshing innocence with a profound understanding of the world's brutality, The Importance of a Piece of Paper is a daring and arresting work that is at once fearless, tender, and inspiring.

About Jimmy Santiago Baca

See more books from this Author
Jimmy Santiago Baca was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is the author of several collections of poetry, a novel, a story collection, and the acclaimed memoir A Place to Stand, which has been made into a feature documentary. His awards and honors include the National Endowment of Poetry Award, Pushcart Prize, Southwest Book Award, American Book Award, and the International Hispanic Heritage Award.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Importance of a Piece of Paper

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A Catholic orphanage makes for moments of heartbreaking sadness in “The Valentine’s Card” and for sadistic menace in “Runaway.” Baca is clearly searching for a meaning in the overwhelming cruelty and hardship his characters suffer, whether from their grim addictions to sex, alcohol, and greed, or...

| Read Full Review of The Importance of a Piece of ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

The rural Southwest landscape of Baca's short stories is inhabited by outsiders: drug addicts and convicts, absentee mothers and runaways.

| Read Full Review of The Importance of a Piece of ...

Entertainment Weekly

Both in his poetry and his prizewinning 2001 memoir, A Place to Stand, Baca has recalled a difficult youth spent in an orphanage, on the streets, and in prison.

Mar 26 2004 | Read Full Review of The Importance of a Piece of ...

Rate this book!

Add Review