Monday Morning Review
COYOTE SONGS published by Broken River Books.
By Gabino Iglesias
ZERO SAINTS is the first full length novel by Gabino Iglesias. It is a chilling, heart-stopping read. It's unique and philosophical. It elevates the reader and at the same time it was emotionally exhausting. I felt as though I needed a break after reading. Needless to say, I impatiently waited for Gabino's latest book.
COYOTE SONGS is more than a novel. It’s an education. It is a touching, terrifying portrait of life on the border and in the barrio.
Fearless author Gabino Iglesias uses his words as a knife, cutting open and separating the delicate flesh of the American dream, exposing the bloody insides. COYOTE SONGS features connected, though separate, stories showing the harsh, often violent, immigrant experience and heartbreakingly portrays the fragile, imperiled cultural character of the individuals we meet.
Gabino is able to paint the violence and brutality with strokes of touching prose and poetry, making the undeniable sadness easier to swallow. His delicate way with words helps the reader to fully digest the tales.
He is a shapeshifter, fluidly fluctuating between Spanish and English in this killer tale and playing with a host of genres. Horror. Crime. Noir. Bizzaro. He flexes his mastery over a multitude of narratives and remains genuine and unapologetic throughout.
In COYOTE SONGS we meet…
- Pedrito a young boy raised by his hardworking father, whose only hope is to find a better life for his son. But, Pedrito witnesses a tragedy that will tear his life to pieces and set him on a strange and dangerous course.
- The Mother, a young woman heavy with child missing her husband and knowing he has met a violent end. As the baby grows inside her so does the fear.
- Alma, a smart and angry young woman living in Texas, believes she'll see success as an artist, until she faces the realization that she's little more than a puppet for the rich and entitled whites.
- The soulful coyote runs the hopeful across the border because he sees it as his mission. We do not learn his name, but we only need understand his job - he is the coyote. He is the loyal and brutal servant of La Virgencita, and he is saving the children by helping them flee into America, the land of opportunity.
- There is the spirit of Inmaculada, a mother waiting in the dry and dying desert, searching for revenge.
Each character presents a different story, a different understanding. Each character opens your eyes just a little more.
There is so much to appreciate and discover in Gabino’s latest release, COYOTE SONGS. It will move you. This book will make you angry and sad. COYOTE SONGS is a deep dive into the reality of life along the border. Gabino Iglesias leads us through a crime story, horror and science-fiction. All the words and emotions converging and making for a highly impactful tale.
Gabino, a man who writes as if he’s trying to save the world, uses beautiful words to tell an ugly story and, like me, you will never look at the world around you the same way. I hope you read this novel and let it get under your skin.