El Puente/The Bridge

By Ito Romo



This tenderly wrought novel about a town on the Rio Grande resonates with pure border voices. Thirteen women--all ages and backgrounds--react in unexpected, humorous, and mysterious ways when one day the river suddenly turns crimson red. The bridge, which the women cross and re-cross in the course of this cycle of stories, becomes a site where the women acquire knowledge about their lives and their landscape as the mystery of the color of the river unravels. Romo illuminates a cross-section of border life in classic, lyrical prose, rich with elements of fable, ancient morality tales, and magic, all the while capturing the extraordinary textures of contemporary border life. El Puente/The Bridge captivates and entertains with its mix of closely observed reality imbued with deep spirituality.

"A story cycle that bridges together, like a string of papel picado, the lives of several women on both sides of the Tex-Mex border. The world, according to Romo, is bizarre, troche moche, heartbreaking, rasquache, endlessly romantic, tender and touching. As funny as a fotonovela, triste as a telenovela and wild as any Fellini."--Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek

"Each voice of the women Romo has created blooms into a real life that we recognize immediately. He has created his own bridge between the seeming ordinariness of the women with an extraordinary event, beautifully told. We stand captivated in the presence of full human beings."--Helena María Viramontes, author of The Moths and Under the Feet of Jesus

"Ito Romo's El Puente/The Bridge will charm its readers--meaning both delight and enchant them. Thirteen women's lives are woven together into the story of a possible miracle, or perhaps it is a hoax, or maybe sabotage with political overtones. Like an old-fashioned folktale, this deceptively simple novel unfolds the secrets of a community. Ito Romo is our storyteller at the border, bridging two cultures and many lives with his first novel."--Julia Alvarez, author of How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Yo!, and In The Name of Salome

Subjects: FictionSouthwest

Contributor Bios
Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, Ito Romo holds an M.A. in literature from Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. He has worked as an artist-in-residence, a children’s museum educator, and a college English professor. He lives, works, writes, and paints in Texas.