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Tafolla the story keeper

July 13, 2008

The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans   -- short stories book cover

“Tafolla the story keeper” by Steve Bennett

The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans

By Carmen Tafolla

Wings Press, $16

Carmen Tafolla stands on the shoulders of several centuries of storytellers.

About 15 years ago, the San Antonio poet, essayist, children’s author and fiction writer was down in the Río Grande Valley, searching for inspiration. During an interview with a woman in her 90s, the writer
asked why la vieja had stayed so long with her husband, who liked to drink and then scream and then beat up people who got in his way. “ En esos dias,” the old woman replied, “ Nos casamos pa better o pa worse.”

“And then she said, ‘And I got stuck with worse,’” Tafolla recalls. “Wow! ‘In those days, we got married for better or for worse. And I got stuck with worse.’

“What a powerful line. She perfectly expressed the tone of her time period. You get what you get. This is fate. If I can capture some of that strength, some of that beauty, some of the eloquence in that very simple language then I am honored to be the scribe that writes it down.”

Read the rest of the article HERE

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