Dirty Linen

Lorna Scott Fox

  • Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father by Richard Rodriguez
    Penguin, 230 pp, £6.99, November 1994, ISBN 0 14 009622 1

At the end of Hunger of Memory, Richard Rodriguez’s 1982 account of becoming an American, he tells how his mother came across one of his articles and was moved to write to him. Her letter begins tenderly, urging Rodriguez not to blame himself, as he appears to do, for giving up Mexican culture in order to ‘make it’. Then: ‘Writing is one thing, the family is another ... Especially I don’t want the gringos knowing about our private affairs ... Please give this some thought. Please write about something else in the future. Do me this favour.’

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