My Chicano Heart

New and Collected Stories of Love and Other Transgressions

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Pub Date Aug 06 2024 | Archive Date Aug 31 2024

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Description

My Chicano Heart is a collection of author Daniel A. Olivas’s favorite previously published tales about love, along with five new stories, that explore the complex, mysterious, and occasionally absurd machinations of people who simply want to be appreciated and treasured. Readers will encounter characters who scheme, search, and flail in settings that are sometimes fantastical and other times mundane: a man who literally gives his heart to his wife who keeps it beating safely in a wooden box; a woman who takes a long-planned trip through New Mexico but, mysteriously, without the company of her true love; a lonely man who gains a remarkably compatible roommate who may or may not be real—just to name a few of the memorable and often haunting characters who fill these pages. Often infused with Olivas’s trademark humor, readers will delight in—and commiserate with—the lovestruck characters who populate these richly realized stories.

Each story is drawn from Olivas’s nearly twenty-five years of experience writing fiction deeply steeped in Chicano and Mexican culture. Some of the stories are fanciful and full of magic, while others are more realistic, and still others border on noir. All touch upon that most ephemeral and confounding of human emotions: love in all its wondrous forms.
My Chicano Heart is a collection of author Daniel A. Olivas’s favorite previously published tales about love, along with five new stories, that explore the complex, mysterious, and occasionally...

Advance Praise

“Olivas has done it again. In this collection of stories from University of Nevada Press, he has captured the essence of the Southwestern, supernatural story. Each story leads the reader down a darkening path, yet we go completely of our own volition just to see what he will show us. Nothing is free, yet like his hapless characters, we always agree to the bargain.”

Kathleen Alcalá, author of Treasures in Heaven: A Novel

“Daniel A. Olivas has written fascinating fantastical scenarios in My Chicano Heart, but always with very recognizable human settings and issues. This collection is a portrait of Latinx/Chicana/o life as it is lived today, and there is true voz here that is jammed with feeling and passion. It’s as if all of Olivas’s character’s souls are embattled.”

Yxta Maya Murray, author of The World Doesn’t Work That Way, but It Could: Stories


“Olivas has done it again. In this collection of stories from University of Nevada Press, he has captured the essence of the Southwestern, supernatural story. Each story leads the reader down a...


Marketing Plan

• Well-crafted short stories by an acclaimed writer

• Fiction heavily steeped in Latinx/Mexican American culture

• Well-drawn characters of all economic backgrounds

• Well-drawn straight and LGBTQ characters

• Well-drawn characters of all ages


• Well-crafted short stories by an acclaimed writer

• Fiction heavily steeped in Latinx/Mexican American culture

• Well-drawn characters of all economic backgrounds

• Well-drawn straight and LGBTQ...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781647791346
PRICE $22.00 (USD)
PAGES 216

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Featured Reviews

Here's the deal: I was just browsing the selection while waiting for my roommate to wake up so we can go have lunch, when I spotted a beautiful cover. I sent a request, expecting nothing. But I got an email saying that I was approved within a few minutes. With my roommate still asleep, I opened the book, and started reading the first story. I immediately thought I would not like it. But that was just the first paragraph.

Spoilers ahead: The way the main character requested his heart back intrigued me. So I kept going. The way the process of him taking out his heart and giving it, was even better. Safe to say, I kept going and kept liking it more and more.

The second story broke my heart. The third revealed that twist in the end in the best possible way! The author sucked me into these stories, I couldn't stop reading until I finished it.

The author pays attention to very small details. It makes the story feel alive. All the characters are wonderful, and the pages are dyed with their personality in only a few lines. That's expertise for you! And the humor was top-notch!

I will definitely check out more works from this author!

A huge thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for the advanced digital copy!

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Beautifully written. Heart wrenching and thoughtful. You can feel every emotion radiating off of this novel, like it’s been dipped in the authors blood and left to dry.

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I confess, I initially judged this book by its cover. The artwork, reminiscent of the classic loteria card deck with nods to Frida Kahlo's style, instantly drew me in. The title, "My Chicano Heart," further piqued my interest. As a Chicana romantic myself, I anticipated a series of love stories, and I can say I wasn't disappointed.

Daniel A. Olivas's collection offers a rich tapestry of tales exploring love in its myriad forms—complex, mysterious, and at times, absurd. I found myself nodding along, relating to the desire for appreciation and affection depicted in these stories.

From the opening tale, "My Chicano Heart," with its evocative imagery of a beating heart in a box reminiscent of Poe's "A Tell-Tale Heart," to the unexpected twists of "Quack," where I found myself fiercely protective of Constance, this collection kept me engaged. "Las Dos Fridas" warmed me with its depth, while "Eight" resonated with its portrayal of office camaraderie amidst workplace challenges. "Weatherman" left me speechless with its impactful dialogue, and "Mateo’s Walk" evoked a profound sense of longing.

However, not every story left me equally fulfilled. "The Fairy Tale of the Man and the Woman" and "Willie" left me puzzled and enraged, respectively. "Blue" tore at my heartstrings, leaving me raw.

Yet, through each tale, the thread of love—be it for others, oneself, or something intangible—remains constant. These stories skillfully interweave elements of culture, language, and family, resonating with anyone who has experienced the complexities of love.

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What a beautiful book. It was heartbreaking as well as heartwarming. I love when a book can tug at all types of emotions and really have you contemplating life. .This cover art is just beautiful and I have considered tattoos like this so when I saw it I had to look at it and request to read. This was such a fun journey through love as a fun/sad/perfect way of being.

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something tricky about collected stories is that some can be amazing and some can feel flat and
that's my case with this book
something we can't take back to Daniel A. Olivas is the diversity and representations that her work contains, even if we can't connect with each story it's worth the ride

thank you netgalley for the copy

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Thank you NetGalley, University of Nevada Press and Daniel A. Olivas for allowing me to read the ARC of "My Chicano Heart" in exchange for an honest review.

As many I am sure I was drawn in by the cover of this book, the raw beauty of it and the art style just told me I have to read it, and so I did.

I will not lie and confess, I was quite confused at first, it took me a few moments to get into this book. A collection of short stories all around the topic of love, how it breaks our heart, how it heals it, how it is the reason sometimes our heart beats.

Just like it is with a collection of stories, some will make you feel everything and some will not be your cup of tea, at least this is how it was for me and I would say that is absolutely okay, even those that did not particularly interest me were beautiful written and I feel without them, I might would have missed something, which is a paradoxical thing to say since I just said they were not really pulling at any emotion from me.

Overall, a book enjoyable to spend your afternoon with, cozied up in a blanket with a cup of coffee or tea.

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I was immediately drawn to the title and cover illustration so I knew I had to read this! "The Chicano Heart" is a collection of short stories where love serves as the underlying theme throughout. As a Mexican American, I find great pleasure in reading stories that I can relate to, especially those rich with cultural nuances and include some Spanish dialogue. A few stories will stay embedded in my brain for some time with how thought provoking they were more and then there were a few that felt unfinished to me. However, I recognize that this type of writing is an art, and this stylistic choice was likely intentional; other readers may perceive it differently. Overall, Olivas is a creative and talented writer with the ability to craft a diverse array of storylines in an engaging manner.

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