What Do I Read Next?
Julia Alvarez's novel How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent chronicles the experiences of four sisters who immigrate from the Dominican Republic to the United States, losing their Spanish language and culture before they fully acquire fluency in English. In a similar vein Sandra Cisneros recalls her childhood in a Spanish-speaking section of Chicago in the lyrical vignettes of House on Mango Street.
Ernesto Galarza's 1971 novel Barrio Boy and Jose Antonio Villareal's 1970 Pocho both explore growing up in a barrio from a young boy's perspective.
The 1997 novel Macho! by Victor Villaseñor describes Cesar Chavez's strike efforts through the eyes of a seventeen-year-old boy who migrates to California from Mexico.
The poems of Ricardo Sánchez in 1971's Canto y grito me liberación (title means "The Liberation of a Chicano Mind") explore the ambiguities of living in two worlds, while Rodolfo Corky Gonzales's epic poem, "I am Joaquin" explores the Chicano identity. Lorna Dee Cervantes's poems address the erosion of ethnic identity in transplanted families; her "Freeway 280" expresses frustration over urban renewal programs that razed Chicano neighborhoods.
Several films also explore territory similar to Zoot Suit: Robert Redford produced and directed The Milago Beanfield War (1988), an endearing comedy about a group of Mexican-American citizens who resist oppressive big business owners out to abuse the farmers' civil rights; Edward James Olmos, who plays El Pachuco in Zoot Suit, stars in The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982), a film about a Chicano murderer that allows the audience to believe in Cortez's guilt until the last moment; Olmos also directed and starred in a stunning film portrayal of a hardened Chicano prison inmate and his family: American Me (1992).