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A Natural Man

A Natural Man

By Gary Soto


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In this collection of poetry, National Book Award finalist Gary Soto tackles the shabby reality of the world around him and turns it into vivid poetry. Drawing on the Chicano slang of the barrio, Soto gives authentic voice to portraits of life set mostly in California's San Joaquin Valley, where he was born and raised. The theme of the poet as troubadour runs throughout the book—there is a wry humor in Soto's description of the drunken narrator of "The Mariachi Suit," who, with "spurs jangling music" and a "guitar like a small coffin in my arms," serenades an audience of cats, "Who yawn, lick the clover pads/Of their salty paws, and prance away." A delightful poem to Soto's wife of 23 years ("Meat and Potatoes") playfully contrasts a miserable bachelor meal with the exotic cooking of the woman next door: "Love was at her table,/A fork going to her mouth and the noodles,/How delicious, easy to swallow." These poems will please Soto's many admirers, and the edgy voice of A Natural Man is sure to convert even more.

More Details

Size: 6 x 9 in;
Pages: 96 pp;
Format: Paperback
Publication: August 1999
ISBN: 9780811825184
ISBN10: 811825183
Gary Soto is one of today's most celebrated Chicano writers. He has received the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and his New & Selected Poems was a finalist for the National Book Award. He lives in Berkeley, California.

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