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Seattle Times
"Although the stories in Brownsville aren't linked by shared characters, they all so vividly evoke Casares's hometown that they seem to suggest a single narrative, similar in vein to James Joyce's Dubliners. Read Brownsville—and you've been to Brownsville."
New York Times Book Review
"In Oscar Casares's Brownsville, everyone is so close, tucked up snug against the Rio Grande, that people's quarrels irresistibly spill into on another's lives, like the Mexican soap operas that beam into their TV sets.... With a quiet mastery of the smallest detail, Casares puts on neighborly terms with the locals."
Chicago Tribune
"Oscar Casares's fine first collection of short stories creates a lively and memorable community of Mexican-Americans living on the Texas border. What he has achieved is rare: a kind of choral view of a culture that is at the same time remarkable for the individuality of the people portrayed and the variety of the stories."
Entertainment Weekly
"Brownsville is a slim but just about perfect debut story collection by Brownsville, Texas, wonder boy Oscar Casares. His characters are border-town castaways with one foot in Texas and the other in Mexico. Their stories, likewise, are Tex-Mex dramedies, sad and yet very funny.... Terrific."
Miami Herald
"Casares brings his hometown to dusty life with humor and compassion."
Publishers Weekly
"A fine debut collection....With skill and economy, Casares evokes the easygoing, plainspoken, yet slightly stagy voice of the guy on the neighboring bar stool—or nearby cubicle—describing his weekend....Probing underneath the surface of Tex-Mex culture, Casares's stories, with their wisecracking, temperamental, obsessive middle-aged men and their dramas straight from the neighborhood gossip, are in the direct line of descent from Mark Twain and Ring Lardner."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"In Brownsville, a book that continues in the tradition of such great place-novels as Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, Casares keeps it simple. There is a gentleness in these stories—even stories about bullying and bullied men—that is hard to resist."
Dallas Morning News
"This is the real thing, the real life of south Texas mexicanos, without the mumbo jumbo."
Washington Post
"Marvelous....Brownsville has more to do with class than nationality, resembling early Steinbeck work more than anything else: Casares deals with work and its dignity, poverty and its challenges, the narrowness of human existence under constant assault by ingenious women and men."
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