Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography
The subtitle of this book is A Spiritual Autobiography, but it is less a life story than a dreamlike quest for the heart of Islam, San Francisco, Hispanic culture and legacy and of course, the author’s Catholicism. The author is gay and his church has abandoned him, but he is loyal to it. The chapters are really a series of essays on a variety of subjects and themes. Very puzzling is the author’s attack on the venerated Cesar Chavez. Rodriguez seems to feel that Chavez was too pure, sacrificing himself and those in the cause for ideals rather than practical matters. The author also takes on atheism and its proponents; it is indeed a wide-ranging look at current events and cultural phenomena. Also in the author’s ken is darling dialogue; the interchanges which are lightened by that endearment and what it really means. In his first book Hunger of Memory Rodriguez was accused of abandoning his roots in favor of assimilation. Despite the wide ranging topics, the writing is very good indeed, helping the readers over the bumps and transitions in this subterranean thought piece. Rodriguez is local to Sacramento, having graduated from Christian Brothers High School. Fans of good writing will enjoy this broad and iconoclastic view of the world.
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