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El Mesquite Cover Image

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A Story of the Early Spanish Settlements Between the Nueces and the Rio Grande by

Goodreads rating: 3.70

Hardcover, Published in Aug 2000 by Texas A & M University Press

ISBN10: 0890969663 | ISBN13: 9780890969663

Page count: 80

Through the voice of the gnarled old tree, Elena Zamora O'Shea tells South Texas political and ethnographic history, filled with colorful details of daily life such as songs, local plants and folk medicines, foods and recipes, peone/patron relations, and the distinctive Tejano ranch vocabulary. The work, engaging and lively, is an important example of the historical-folkloristic literary genre used by Mexican American writers of the period. Using the literary device of the tree's narration, O'Shea raises issues of culture, discrimination, and prejudice she could not have addressed in her own voice in that day and explicitly states the Mexican American ideology of 1930s Texas. The result is a literary and history work of lasting value, which clearly and courageously articulates the Tejano claim to legitimacy in Texas history.

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