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Barefoot Dogs: Book summary and reviews of Barefoot Dogs by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

Barefoot Dogs

Stories

by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

Barefoot Dogs by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho X
Barefoot Dogs by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2015
    160 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

An unforgettable debut of linked stories that follow the members and retinue of a wealthy Mexican family forced into exile after the patriarch is kidnapped.

On an unremarkable night, José Victoriano Arteaga - the head of a thriving Mexico City family - vanishes on his way home from work. The Arteagas find few answers; the full truth of what happened to Arteaga is lost to the shadows of Mexico's vast and desperate underworld, a place of rampant violence and kidnappings, and government corruption. But soon packages arrive to the family house, offering horrifying clues.

Fear, guilt, and the prospect of financial ruination fracture the once-proud family and scatter them across the globe, yet delicate threads still hold them together: in a swimming pool in Palo Alto, Arteaga's young grandson struggles to make sense of the grief that has hobbled his family; in Mexico City, Arteaga's mistress alternates between rage and heartbreak as she waits, in growing panic, for her lover's return; in Austin, the Arteagas' housekeeper tries to piece together a second life in an alienating and demeaning new land; in Madrid, Arteaga's son takes his ailing dog through the hot and unforgiving streets, in search of his father's ghost.

Multiple award-winning author Antonio Ruiz-Camacho offers an exquisite and intimate evocation of the loneliness, love, hope, and fear that can bind a family even as unspeakable violence tears it apart. "A straight-on jab to the soul" (Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk), Barefoot Dogs is a heartfelt elegy to the stolen innocence of every family struck by tragedy. This is urgent and vital fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Experiencing the ways in which various family members cope - or fail to - with their new reality makes for gripping, somber reading." - Publishers Weekly

"A nimble debut that demonstrates not a singular narrative voice but a realistic chorus of them." - Kirkus

"…Barefoot Dogs offers readers a relatable experience of dealing with unexpected tragedy, even when framed by a less-than-relatable situation. An extremely promising debut." - Booklist

"Antonio Ruiz Camacho springs out of the gate with an assured, beautiful collection of stories. There were several spots that made me stop and go back to them. And not a few others that made me burn with envy. Great stuff." - Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway and The Hummingbird's Daughter

"Barefoot Dogs is a splendid collection. Each of these stories is a straight-on jab to the soul, the kind of sharp fictional punch that wakes us up to our own flawed, fragile, essential humanity." - Ben Fountain author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

"Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's Barefoot Dogs is bravura, brilliant, moving, hilarious - it's both clear-eyed and dreamy, strange and beautiful, stories for our time, and also for all-time." - Elizabeth McCracken, author of The Giant's House and Thunderstruck

"Antonio Ruiz-Camacho has written a marvelous and moving story collection: Barefoot Dogs is a brilliant and devastating portrait of a scattered, entitled, and traumatized Mexican upper-class, waking up in horror to the reality of the country they once owned. A tour de force." - Daniel Alarcón, author of At Night We Walk in Circles

The information about Barefoot Dogs shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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More Information

For the last eighteen years, Antonio Ruiz-Camacho has worked as a journalist in Mexico, Europe, and the US. A 2009 Journalism Knight Fellow at Stanford University and a 2014 Dobie Paisano Fellow in Fiction, Ruiz-Camacho earned his MFA from the New Writers Project at UT Austin. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Story Quarterly, Poets & Writers, and elsewhere. He is from Toluca, Mexico, and lives in Austin, Texas, with his family.

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