Pig Cookies


Pig Cookies/Alberto Rios


Go to Amazon for further information.  Originally published by Chronicle Books.


Pig Cookies.  San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1995.






New York Public Library “Books to Remember” selection, 1995.




Publisher Description


“This is what he said to her with the mouth of his eyes, before he could get close enough to use breath: he was coming here today to tell her, here was the beginning of their story.”—from “Sawyers Along the River”

     Set earlier this century in a small village in northern Mexico, these interrelated stories revolve around extraordinary characters whose fortunes rise and fall in the eyes of their ever-watchful neighbors.
     Among the many memorable townspeople is Lázaro Luna, whose life is the most interwoven with others. He’ll later become mayor (“Five”) and a surrogate husband (“A Trick on the World”), but we meet him in the title story as a young boy so much in love that his hands can’t concentrate on the pig cookies he’s baking. The result is a “batter of surprise” and the most popular cookies the village has ever eaten, each one a different shape, each telling a different story.
     Don Lázaro and other endearing characters populate the lyrical and enchanting world of Alberto Alvaro Ríos, a place where “there is no need of wind, not with so many whispers.”

     “’Nothing is bigger in a small town than two people in love without the permission of everybody.’
     “The limitless possibilities of the imagination and the uncertainties of daily life exist side by side in these thirteen delightful and surprising short stories.

     “These haunting, lyric tales, as much like songs as they are like stories, are spun together with images so true and startling you’ll want to sing them out loud.”



Some reviews

Pig Cookies is walking through a door into a village full of fabulous characters.”—Rudolfo Anaya

Pig Cookies is what might happen if Gabriel García Márquez’s village of Macondo met up with Sherwood Anderson’s town of Winesburg, as unlikely as that sounds. Alberto Ríos knows how to illustrate beautifully the exuberance and pathos of both civic and personal character. Each story is a small dainty; together they are a feast.”—Antonya Nelson

“The treats of the title are the gingerbread delights that Mexican adults imagine are beloved by their children because the kids laugh at the sight of the chubby cookies lined up on a baker’s tray. Such misconceptions are at the heart of this second book of short stories by Rios (The Iguana Killer), a native Arizonan who teaches at Arizona State University. Set in a northern Mexican village over several decades of the 20th century, Pig Cookies traces the lives of its citizens throughout these volatile times. At the center of the stories is Lázaro Luna, a baker overcome by love, who one day mixes a ‘batter of surprise” from which comes a unique batch of pig cookies, treats to which children “gave... all the names they had previously held in trust for various dolls they had hoped to receive.” Next door to the bakery, the lonely butcher, Noé, covers his walls with clocks that “have hands only for him.” The entire town feels responsible for the remarkable gardens of Lamberto Diaz, gardens created by various bits of this and that, including more pig cookies tossed in by neighbors. These poignant, funny tales of the rich, unsuspected inner lives of regular folk transcend time and place. They could be set anywhere with equally delightful results.”—Publishers Weekly

“Though set in a small village in northern Mexico over the course of several decades early in this century, these 13 interrelated stories disregard temporal awareness; a slew of engaging characters from all walks of life appear and reappear at various stages of their lives. The emotions run the gamut, too, from wistful early love in the title story, to satire of small-town government in “Five,” to the clumsy but misconstrued manifestations of youthful affections in “Susto.”—
Library Journal

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