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Coconut Versus (Floricanto Press)
This powerful and tempestuous coming-of- age novel follows a young man on the outside looking in, an interloper wherever he goes.
Everyone calls Miguel Reyes a coconut, brown on the outside and white on the inside. Among his family in central California, he’s the too soft city-boy. In Arizona, he’s a brown boy in an upper-class, white neighborhood, with no real friends, while in Los Angeles, he’s a fake Mexican that speaks too good.
Again, and again, Miguel finds himself seething at the injustice a young man feels at every turn of his adolescence. Then, in a moment, he must decide whether or not another man lives or dies.
Praise for Coconut Versus
“Daniel Ruiz, in taut and urgent prose, that often takes your breath away, (like a punch to your gut), reveals the often turbulent life of Miguel Reyes as he navigates his way from confused child to manhood. With a cast of characters ranging from fierce to loving to humorous, Ruiz has given us an essential bildungsroman befitting America in the 21st Century.”—Bruce Bauman, author of the novels And the Word Was and Broken Sleep
“Coconut Versus is a coming of age story that brims with energy and originality as it travels across modern, millennial California. Daniel Ruiz uses his ample gifts as a writer and observer of his generation’s longings to spin tales of love, rage and self-knowledge that are intelligently and passionately told."—Héctor Tobar, author of The Barbarian Nurseries and Deep Down Dark
Daniel Jose Ruiz is a graduate of the CalArts MFA program, and is a Professor of English at Los Angeles City College. Coconut Versus is his first novel.
Bruce Bauman is the award-winning author of the novels And the Word Was and Broken Sleep. Michael Silverblatt, on Bookworm, has called Broken Sleep “funny, heartbreaking and beautiful.” Other reviewers have compared Bauman's work to Saul Bellow, Robert Stone, Thomas Pynchon and John Irving.