"Oliver de la Paz has created a unique work: a novella in the form of a sequence of prose poems; a lucidly inventive allegory of migration, exile, and belonging. With grace and elegance, he evokes the magical, myth-making culture of his Philippines and brings it to a very real California in the person of Fidelito, a boy who wants to fly, and his parents, Domingo and Maria Elena. Oliver de la Paz has the strength and wisdom to step lightly with the heaviest burdens. He is stunningly good. Names above Houses celebrates the trials and indestructibility of a family and is a durable refreshment, an essential document of life at the cultural crossroads."
Rodney Jones, author of Elegy for a Southern Drawl
"Oliver de la Paz creates the legend of Fidelito-a boy whose yearning to fly becomes a metaphor for immigration, sexual awakening, religious passion, and the imagination of a poet-in-the-making. As Fidelito's family trades Filipino omens of baby teeth and rats for those of the 'moonlike glow' of American television romances and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, de la Paz's deft storytelling-part magic realism, part Aesop fable-seamlessly pulls us from one adventure to the next. Through Fidelito, de la Paz weaves the odysseys of Jesus and Icarus into a lush and wonderful wanderlust."
Denise Duhamel, author of The Star-Spangled Banner
Southern Illinois University Press
P.O. Box 3697
Carbondale, IL 62902
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