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Tell Your True Tale

Volume 1

Tell Your True Tale East Los Angeles volume 1

1 | Introduction

1 | Introduction 672 1024 LA County Library

I wouldn’t have blamed Daniel Hernandez for being skeptical. Daniel is the director of the Chicano Resource Center at the East L.A. Library, run by the L.A. County Library system. Over the summer of 2013, he and I were talking about a speech I was to give at his center on my two books of nonfiction stories about Mexico and Mexican migration. But then I veered off topic. How about a writing workshop to go along with it?

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Black Palace

Black Palace

Black Palace 320 240 LA County Library

Two twenty-foot black barred gates stood corner-to- corner separating him from the catcalls on his right where tattered men clawed at him. To his left was a clean, orderly ward.

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Black Palace

Cardboard Box Dreams

Cardboard Box Dreams 320 240 LA County Library

The train screeched to a halt in Empalme, Sonora. Don Luis adjusted his wide-brimmed sombrero over his head and clutched his small bag tightly to his chest.

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Carmen

Carmen

Carmen 763 304 LA County Library

The summer of 2009 I spent in Houston working with janitors as they fought to renew a union contract. That July 4th, local pastors held a press conference supporting the janitors. Several union janitors were asked to attend.

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Black Palace

On The 194

On The 194 320 240 LA County Library

I was on the bus from Baldwin Park heading to Alhambra to visit my folks one day. I chose a seat in the back. To my left, a few seats away, were two older people, a Mexican-American man and a Chinese woman.

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Song for the Living

Song for the Living

Song for the Living 640 165 LA County Library

As a teenager, I was part of a mariachi group with high school friends. We performed at birthday parties, masses, quinceañeras, and weddings around Southern California, each time becoming part of someone’s special occasion.

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Two Trips Home

Two Trips Home 150 150 LA County Library

Bombs fell and the shrapnel cut through the soldiers and burned like molten lava as enemy troops advanced on them through the Vietnam jungle.

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When Manny Met Angie

When Manny Met Angie

When Manny Met Angie 1024 273 LA County Library

I have always been awkward. The doctor who held me as an infant said I was squinting too much so he ordered me some baby glasses; they had a black thick frame.

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