THE JOURNAL OF ANTONIO MONTOYA
We are proud to reintroduce the classic first novel by the author of Madewell Brown.
When little José Montoya’s parents are killed one August morning by a cow, his Tia Ramona and his Tio Flavio are troubled by how best to raise the boy. After the funeral, they drive to their childhood home behind the village office, but “before they reach the house, the front door swung open and Ramona’s grandfather, Epolito Montoya, who had been dead for thirteen years, stood in the doorway. ‘Why are you out in the rain?’ he said.”
Ramona has returned reluctantly to this isolated village in northern New Mexico and to the family that never lets go. As she tries to build a modern life here on her own terms, and still to care for young José, she discovers that she can reach through time, see the richness of her heritage, and reclaim riches, knowledge, art that disappeared generations ago. In fact, she can speak with her ancestors and learn their stories.
These, finally, are the fortunes she will try to pass on to José.
$12.95 US / $15.95 C | Fiction Paperback | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 | 272 pages
ISBN: 978-1-932961-96-6 | Carton Quantity: 36
JOSÉ MONTOYA’S MOTHER AND FATHER were killed early one warm August morning by a cow.
José’s father had once warned his son, when they were alone together in their trailer, that if he ever saw an owl he should watch out. José Sr. had drunk a few beers and was watching nothing on the television when he suddenly turned and told his son that owls were not birds, they were witches in disguise. They had no purpose but to bring news of death, his father had said, and if José were to see one around the house, he was to get the .22 from under the bed and kill the sonofabitch. José hadn’t known what to say to his father. He had looked at him until his father turned away, took another drink from his beer, and said, “I tell you, hijo, those owls are something.”
In his seven years José couldn’t recall ever having seen an owl, and he knew that he hadn’t seen one on the morning his mother and father died. The morning seemed to be just the beginning of another day and then, suddenly, without a cloud in the sky or the soft whisper of an owl’s wing, it went bad. It went bad like a bloody egg his mother would sometimes crack open.
José’s Tío Flavio drove his truck slowly through Guadalupe and took the dirt drive that angled sharply up the hill just past Felix’s Café. He could see his brother’s trailer at the top of the hill. The curtains were drawn over the windows and the front door was closed, even on such a warm morning. To Flavio, who liked trees and running water and the sound of things, the trailer, sitting on its patch of barren earth and surrounded by stunted sagebrush and the twisted shells of José’s abandoned vehicles, looked like something that would be left after the end of the world.
Ray Pacheco, the Guadalupe police officer, had called Flavio with the bad news that his brother and his brother’s wife, Loretta, were dead because of a cow. It had been over very quickly and no one had suffered, not even the stupid animal. The first thing to come into Flavio’s head was, Why this morning? I was going to irrigate this morning. He had hung up the phone and said to his wife, “José and Loretta are dead. Call Ramona. I’m going to get little José.”
He parked his truck in front of the trailer and stayed sitting in the cab. He thought it was too bad he had quit smoking—this would be a good time for a cigarette. He had quit because his wife, in her quiet way, had never approved of his ruining his health, but now, he thought, a cow had killed his brother, and after he got José from the trailer, he would go to Tito’s bar and buy a carton of the cigarettes without filters.