Saturday, March 14, 2015

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds: "A straight-on jab to the soul" ~Ben Fountain, author of "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"
An unforgettable debut of linked stories that follow the members and retinue of a wealthy Mexican family forced into exile after the patriarch is kidnapped.

On an unremarkable night, Jose Victoriano Arteaga--the head of a thriving Mexico City family--vanishes on his way home from work. The Arteagas find few answers; the full truth of what happened to Arteaga is lost to the shadows of Mexico's vast and desperate underworld, a place of rampant violence and kidnappings, and government corruption. But soon packages arrive to the family house, offering horrifying clues.

Fear, guilt, and the prospect of financial ruination fracture the once-proud family and scatter them across the globe, yet delicate threads still hold them together: in a swimming pool in Palo Alto, Arteaga's young grandson struggles to make sense of the grief that has hobbled his family; in Mexico City, Arteaga's mistress alternates between rage and heartbreak as she waits, in growing panic, for her lover's return; in Austin, the Arteagas' housekeeper tries to piece together a second life in an alienating and demeaning new land; in Madrid, Arteaga's son takes his ailing dog through the hot and unforgiving streets, in search of his father's ghost.

Multiple award-winning author Antonio Ruiz-Camacho offers an exquisite and intimate evocation of the loneliness, love, hope, and fear that can bind a family even as unspeakable violence tears it apart. Barefoot Dogs is a heartfelt elegy to the stolen innocence of every family struck by tragedy. This is urgent and vital fiction.

Author Explores The Ripple Effects Of A Kidnapping In Mexico
Read the Kirkus Review interview with the author HERE.

UT alumnus looks forward to release of debut novel

Keepsakes From Across the Border

"He would have been ashamed to learn that his own son was this weak, this cowardly, this unpatriotic"

Praise for the book:  
“Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's Barefoot Dogs is bravura, brilliant, moving, hilarious—it's both clear-eyed and dreamy, strange and beautiful, stories for our time, and also for all-time.That it's his first book is a wonder, and a wonderful promise.” ~Elizabeth McCracken, author of The Giant's House

“With deftness and nuance, Ruiz-Camacho…captures the flawed but fascinating humanity of the extended Arteaga family…Readers receive a gift as rare as it is unnerving: a chance to enter imaginatively into a world of personal tragedy through portals other than pathos. Despite their myopia and unreckoned privilege, the wealthy wanderers of Barefoot Dogs never become objects of scorn or pity. And this is perhaps the most powerful testament to Ruiz-Camacho’s powers.” ~Texas Observer

"Antonio Ruiz-Camacho has written a marvelous and moving story collection: Barefoot Dogs is a brilliant and devastating portrait of a scattered, entitled, and traumatized Mexican upper-class, waking up in horror to the reality of the country they once owned. A tour de force." ~Daniel Alarcón, author of At Night We Walk in Circles

“In the world of today no calamity stays local, no tragedy private. Someone missing at a street corner leaves unhealed scars in other countries, among different generations. It is with this keen sense of intersection between personal and impersonal history that Antonio Ruiz-Camacho approaches his characters—his scrutiny of them, his empathy for them, and his versatile voice reminding us of Grace Paley, among other masters of the short story.” ~Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants

“'Are you afraid of a human’s touch? Have you become that American already?' one of Antonio Ruiz-Camacho’s displaced upper-class Mexican characters asks another who is about to become her lover in the Austin, Texas laundromat where they meet. The brilliantly gifted Ruiz-Camacho, writing in English about the members of a Mexican family forced to flee their country, brings the terror, sadness, tenderness and intimacy as well as the class absurdities of contemporary Mexican life into that most traditional of American forms, the realist short story. Ruiz-Camacho’s mastery will impress and astonish, open your eyes, but most of all, each one of these stories will unforgettably touch your heart and move you." ~Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name

“Mexican-born,Texas-based journalist Ruiz-Camacho shows a wealth of talent in this fiction debut….Outstanding…Funny….A nimble debut that demonstrates not a singular narrative voice but a realistic chorus of them.” ~Kirkus Reviews

“Antonio Ruiz Camacho springs out of the gate with an assured, beautiful collection of stories. There were several spots that made me stop and go back to them. And not a few others that made me burn with envy. Great stuff.” ~Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil’s Highway

"Barefoot Dogs offers readers a relatable experience of dealing with unexpected tragedy, even when framed by a less-than-relatable situation. An extremely promising debut." ~Booklist


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