How to Date a Flying Mexican: New and Collected Stories
by Daniel A. Olivas
University of Nevada Press, 2022
Paper: 978-1-64779-036-3 | eISBN: 978-1-64779-037-0

During the pandemic and in the wake of his father’s death, Daniel A. Olivas set upon the task of reviewing almost 25 years’ worth of his short stories that had been published in various collections or as parts of novels. Our strange times seemed to call for this type of introspection and examination. He found that many of his narratives fell within the world of magic, fairy tales, fables, and dystopian futures. This review also revealed that many of his fictions confronted—either directly or obliquely—questions of morality, justice, and self-determination while being deeply steeped in Chicano and Mexican culture. Olivas decided to choose his favorite tales from the many scores of stories that populated his published works. He added to the mix two recent stories—one dystopian, the other magical—both of which confront the last administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. The result is How to Date a Flying Mexican: New and Collected Stories. Though his books have been taught in colleges and high schools across the country for over two decades, this collection brings together some of his most unforgettable strange tales that will be enjoyed, again, by his fans, and anew for readers who have not, as yet, experienced Olivas’s distinct—and very Chicano—fiction. A literary critic once called Olivas a “literary marvel.” These stories, collectively, offer ample support for this declaration.

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