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Remembering to Say Mouth or Face, Remembering to Say Mouth or Face, 0932511805, 0-932511-80-5, 978-0-932511-80-5, 9780932511805, , , Remembering to Say Mouth or Face, 0932511813, 0-932511-81-3, 978-0-932511-81-2, 9780932511812,

Remembering to Say Mouth or Face
by Omar S. Castaneda

1993. 156 pp.
Price:  $24.95 s
Quality Paper
1993. 156 pp.
Price:  $16.95 s

In this award-winning collection of short stories, Guatemalan American Omar S. Castañeda uses a unique and richly textured mixture of magic realism and "attack dog fiction" to explore the wrenching conflicts of biculturality. The stories in Remembering to Say 'Mouth' or 'Face' depict the troubled and often darkly humorous lives of people struggling against the slow tectonics of violence. The collection opens in the United States, where drugs and self-annihilating rage overwhelm one of Castañeda's most sharply drawn and subtly sarcastic narrators. In other stories characters in search of their Mayan roots inhabit both real and mythical Central American landscapes.
The characters in these stories know both Americas but find a home in neither. They confront violence and vanquish, at least for themselves, those deep ills caused by living with racism. Buffeted by cultural conflicts and animated by the desire to construct a new language of cultural translations, they embark on spiritual journeys that ultimately enable them to recover and transform Guatemalan traditions.

Born in Guatemala of ladino parents, Omar. S. Castañeda moved to the United States at age three and grew up in the Midwest, where he was naturalized at age eleven. He teaches at Western Washtington University, where he directs The Hubless Wheel, a reading series that features  minority and ethnic writers. Castañeda is the author of Cunuman, Among the Volcanoes, and Abuela's Weave; and he coedited New Visions: Fiction by Florida Writers.

"Drawing heavily on the Popol Vuh, this collection is full of the realistic magic of mythological connections and contemporary scenes. It's a blending of cultures. A long tumpline of stories that burden the head. Castañeda's stories are electromagnetic fields of imagery, character, and happening, which bends words as well as boundaries. I can feel the crosswinds of this book." – Diane Glancy, author of Firesticks

"These are the stories of travelers on a spiritual quest between worlds. Part mythmaker, part poet, Omar Castañeda is an original, and these stories are unlike any in our literature." – Toi Derricotte, author of Captivity

"In the stories of Omar Castañeda, we cross borders with a surefooted guide: the rivers of immigrants on a pilgrimage, the jungles of ancient myth, the hard urban landscapes of sleeping addicts and sleepless lovers. Guatemala haunts and invigorates these tales like Castañeda's Lord of Festival, dead but not dead, the face of magic and ritual and danger illuminated in flashes of poetic language." – Martín Espada, author of City of Coughing and Dead Radiators

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