Here’s an excerpt from our soon-to-be released audio guide about this wildly rich and fascinating novel. [1:06]
Luis Alberto Urrea: And I’ve got to tell you, of all the characters, the one character who is actually in every way based on a real person it Tacho. If you go to Rosario Sinaloa, which my family’s from, I changed it into Tres Camarones for the book to make it a little more fanciful; Rosario Sinaloa, I was raised going down there as a kid and there was one gay man in the town named Tacho. So I would watch him from a distance, and he had survived in this town by making himself completely out. He put himself in front of everybody and said, “Yeah, I’m gay. Yeah. I’m gay. Yeah. What are you going to do about it?”
Helen Thorpe: He runs a taco shop, and the name of it is the Fallen Hand, which is slang for a limp wrist or it’s sort of slang for a gay person.
Melinda Palacio: And Tacho embraces that slur, makes it his own, by naming his restaurant La Mano Caída.
Ilan Stavans: And yet he proves to be an extraordinary companion, one that really sits next to Nayeli from beginning to end.