Summary (Identities & Issues in Literature)
Klail City is part of the Klail City Death Trip, a chronicle of the Texas Rio Grande Valley. This novel moves between past and present so that the past and the present often appear to be the same. Like most of Rolando Hinojosa’s novels, Klail City lacks linear plot development. A series of vignettes create a sense of place and ultimately present a picture of a changing world. Several narrators, including the main characters of the series, Rafe Buenrostro (“Buenrostro” means “good face”) and Jehú Malacara (“Malacara” means “bad face”) tell the stories.
P. Galindo, Esteban Echevarría (a kind of wise man throughout the series), Rafe, and Jehú recount a variety of tales ranging from the story of a hastily arranged marriage between the pregnant Jovita de Anda and Joaquín Tamez to tales of the Texas Rangers’ abuse of Mexican Americans to the story of how Alejandro Leguizamón planned the murder of Rafe’s father, Jesús, and the revenge exacted by Jesús’ brother, don Julián. There is also a kind of interior monologue by Jehú as he and Rafe attend their twenty-second high school class reunion.
The past is interwoven with the present, particularly in the scenes that occur in the bars, where the old men, the viejitos, sit drinking and talking until don Manuel Guzmán, Klail City’s only Mexican American police officer, comes to take them home.
The sections entitled “The...
(The entire section is 400 words.)
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