themcglynn.com

24 Feb

El Penco by Ann McGlinn

© 2014 Cuidono Press

The McGlynn: Highly recommend

Twelve years ago

Mateo Xavier Manuel Rodriguez Aguerra–Veracruz wandered across the border from New Mexico with dreams of exploring the world but got no further than Ciudad Juárez. Known as Penco—the orphan—he paints and contemplates the stories of his lost childhood. He has only recently started working as a bus driver and while his friends consider his new job an insult to his art, making the rounds of the city begins to work a change in him.

 El Penco is available on Amazon

Originally from South Bend, Indiana, Ann McGlinn graduated from Indiana University and received her master’s in fine arts from the University of Montana. She lived in both the Chama Valley of Northern New Mexico and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, where she absorbed the smells and colors and music of the region that she brings to life in El Penco. She now lives with her family in Chicago, where she teaches at the Latin School of Chicago.

Advance Praise

Lush, lyrical, and vibrant . . . if James Salter had travelled to Mexico, this is the novel he might have written.

— Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Close Your Eyes

A vivid, beautifully crafted story that stays with you like the night’s last dream.

— Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover

Review By Lydia on February 19, 2014

I loved this book, and it offers a lot to love.

It’s the deeply serious story of an artist’s quest to heal and mature. McGlinn explores El Penco’s journey patiently and thoroughly, while preserving the essential mystery of it.

The Mexican border town and it’s people are brought to vivid life here, and play an essential role in the life of El Penco, battering and comforting him back to life. It’s a pleasure spending time in this place, with these people.

Another great pleasure of the book is that McGlinn takes her writing as seriously as she takes her story. She writes with a wonderful, seamless mix of simple prose and vivid poetry. Her novel is full of small pleasures like this description of bathing a dog: “Penco rinses the tub and watches short hairs make their way toward the drain. A stream of little wires. A parade of canoes falling one by one down the black hole.”

Like El Penco, Mcglinn is a serious artist, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

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