Title
Books by Art Rodriguez

"Coming of age in Latino life, Art Rodriguez's true tales give readers an inspirational life"


 

Art Rodriguez


East Side Dreams

-Lynn-
"Oprah, heres one for your list!!!"

-11 yr old girl from San Jose CA-
"Great Book!!"

-Lowrider Magazine January 2000-
"How one man turned his misfortunes into a success story"

-Rapport Magazine-
"Rodriguez writes the story of his childhood with so much warmth"
(Read the whole review)

The Monkey Box

-Rapport Magazine-
"Filled with an atmospheric warmth for his Hispanic heritage. In the tradition of Romeo and Juliet, Rodriguez tells the true love story of his great-grandparents"
(Read the whole review)

-Marta Ortuzar-
LantinaStyle
A National Magazine for The Contemporary Hispanic Woman



"It is the early 1800's. As the result of an illicit affair, a young Spanish priest finds himself a single father after the mother dies at childbirth. To avoid the shame, the family exiles the priest and his newborn daughter to Chiapas, Mexico, where he gives the child to a friend to raise. Thus begins the life of Lydia Fuentes in the New World. As a young woman Lydia falls in love with ranchhand Francisco Rodriguez and runs away to marry him in spite of her guardian's strong disapproval. With great fortitude and resourcefulness, the young couple manage to outmaneuver her guardian and stay together to start the Rodriguez family. This story is the true beginning of author Art Rodriguez's family."

"THIS BOOK'S A WINNER"
-Bill, businessman from Louisville, Ky., January 19, 2000

The Monkey Box is an incredibly intense story that runs the full gamut of emotions; love and war, struggles between the classes, greed, deceit, hardship, romance, etc.. What's even more incredible, it's a true story. The story is so riveting, I could not put it down. I read for hours on end. GREAT BOOK!!!!

An East Side Family Tree
East - San Jose's Voice
July 28, 2000
East Staff

If "East Side Dreams" was his personal chronicle of growing up, Art Rodriguez' latest book, "The Monkey Box," is a chronicle of his family. "All families have their stories," Rodriguez says. This is our story. The different struggles and adventures they went through at the time." The book's title comes from a wooden box hand-carved by Rodriguez' great grandfather. The box, which held family documents, featured detailed animal figures and designs carved into the sides.

The story begins with the journey of the first members of Rodriguez's family to travel from Spain to the New World. As the reader will find, family members were often ones for following their heart and not bring bound by convention. The story follows its many characters through their lives in Mexico, including the Revolution there, and the family's eventual migration to California. The book ends in San Jose on a similar note the way it began -- a couple in love.

Rodriguez is becoming a chronicler of the East Side. His first book, "East Side Dreams," tells his own story of growing up on this side of town. Delivered in a straightforward, conversational style, the first book didn't pull many punches. It gave full measure to friendship and family in the neighborhoods where Rodriguez grew up, but it also didn't shrink from showing rebelling, anger and danger.

Rodriguez is a classic speaking" storyteller putting things into written form. His prose sounds like he's sitting in front of you, telling you the story. The language of "the Monkey Box" is similar to "East Side Dreams" in it's straightforward style, but the story telling of the latest book takes more time to put things in their historical context. The action in "East Side Dreams" lives day-to-day, while the Monkey Box" is always aware that the subjects are occupying a particular point in the passage of many years.

If "East Side Dreams" was his personal chronicle of growing up, Art Rodriguez' latest book, "The Monkey Box," is a chronicle of his family. "All families have their stories," Rodriguez says. This is our story. The different struggles and adventures they went through at the time." The book's title comes from a wooden box hand-carved by Rodriguez' great grandfather. The box, which held family documents, featured detailed animal figures and designs carved into the sides.

The story begins with the journey of the first members of Rodriguez's family to travel from Spain to the New World. As the reader will find, family members were often ones for following their heart and not bring bound by convention. The story follows its many characters through their lives in Mexico, including the Revolution there, and the family's eventual migration to California. The book ends in San Jose on a similar note the way it began -- a couple in love.

Rodriguez is becoming a chronicler of the East Side. His first book, "East Side Dreams," tells his own story of growing up on this side of town. Delivered in a straightforward, conversational style, the first book didn't pull many punches. It gave full measure to friendship and family in the neighborhoods where Rodriguez grew up, but it also didn't shrink from showing rebelling, anger and danger.

Rodriguez is a classic speaking" storyteller putting things into written form. His prose sounds like he's sitting in front of you, telling you the story. The language of "the Monkey Box" is similar to "East Side Dreams" in it's straightforward style, but the story telling of the latest book takes more time to put things in their historical context. The action in "East Side Dreams" lives day-to-day, while the Monkey Box" is always aware that the subjects are occupying a particular point in the passage of many years.

Rodriguez says capturing his family's story took a lot of research. "My father would tell stories, and so would my uncles (and other relatives)," he says, indicates the source of much of his material. In addition to asking relatives here in the states, Rodriguez went back to visit uncles and others in Mexico to get their stories. "I went back to Chiapas and talked to my uncles and the people who knew my father and great grandfather," he says. He thinks researching family history is something everyone should do. "People really should write down their family stories," he says. "Otherwise they might be lost. If you don't write the stories down, at least pass them on to your children. They will treasure them in years to come."

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