Bad Boys and Black Sheep:
Fateful Tales from the West
In “Namesakes,” the impoverished Oklahoma farm family awaits a visit from the notorious James Gang, with who the dying father once rode and from whom he hopes against all hope for money that will save his desperate family.
The black high school teacher in “Nueva Entrada” comes to Albuquerque to escape Midwestern racism and his own cocaine addiction. But--like another black man in New Mexico, the sixteenth-century Spanish explorer Esteban--he discovers that his seemingly simple neighbors are more than they seem and that cunning comes in many guises.
In “Truth or Consequences” a professor finds respite from the responsibilities of his career and his wife’s chronic illness in a secret hideaway in a small New Mexico town, where he goes fishing and enjoys an illicit affair with a charming Hispanic woman, until fate confronts him with the consequences of his careful, self-centered plan.
And in “Code Three” two young men, one a college dropout and the other a famous movie star, race toward their shared destiny in California’s ever-shifting Earthquake Country.
Gish is a master at evoking the cultural diversity of the West and the spirit of the people who live there--men who fecklessly believe themselves in easy control of their destiny, but who discover that their ordinary existence contains unexpected elements of mystery and terror, and that both love and hatred possess power that reaches beyond the present and across generations.