Even those not inclined toward essays will find Dagoberto Gilb’s GRITOS (Grove Press) irresistible. A grito is a heartfelt outpouring—”the ‘ ¡Viva!’ at a wedding or political rally”—and Gilb writes as though he were pouring out his heart at the kitchen table over a cup of coffee and a smoke. The prose, ranging from cockfighting to the challenges of being a Mexican American construction-worker-turned-writer, is tenaciously honest, and the pugnacious intelligence behind the swagger makes this collection resonate.

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