Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Love Story Without End

Check out this review from former Houston Chronicle Editor Tony Pederson:

Tony Castro has written a poignant coming-of-age book that provides startling and frequently disturbing insights into growing up Hispanic and talented in central Texas in the 1950s and 1960s. He lays bare the tortured and sometimes heartbreaking soul of his youth and life as a young adult. Those of us who grew up in Waco can readily identify with the descriptions of a small city being dragged into the 20th Century in terms of race and culture.

I must disclose that I am mentioned briefly in the book. The wedding to my wife of 39 years is described in vivid and idealist terms. Tony was best man at that wedding. Some years later, I was best man at his. I was also witness to many of the events described in the book as Tony has been a close friend of mine for more than 40 years. Any bias in this review is strictly mine, and I alone am responsible. Yet, this is a book that transcends the stereotype of books about youth of any age. As well, it transcends descriptions of the racial issues that plagued the United States in a former age and, to some extent, continue to this day.

The human condition is by nature filled with heartache and difficulties, some of our own making and some not. With a sense that borders on the Kafkaesque, Tony reveals his painful and stinging awareness that he is different in terms of skin color, religion, and culture. In his flowing prose, Tony frequently offers a background richly textured in Western literature with which he is intimately familiar. It is a painful self-examination of a life that, ultimately, is fueled by a passionate optimism to succeed and to be self-fulfilling. It is beautifully written and a fascinating emotional and intellectual exploration of times past, present and future. It is a love story without end.

Tony Pederson
Belo Distinguished Chair in Journalism
Southern Methodist University

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