Already a Southwestern classic as beautiful, subtle and profound as the desert itself Arturo Islas's The Rain God is a breathtaking masterwork of contemporary literature. Set in a fictional small town on the Texas-Mexico border, it tells the funny, sad and quietly outrageous saga of the children and grandchildren of Mama Chona the indomitable matriarch of the Angel clan who fled the bullets and blood of the 1911 revolution for a gringo land of promise. In bold creative strokes, Islas paints on unforgettable family portrait of souls haunted by ghosts and madness—sinners torn by loves, lusts and dangerous desires. From gentle hearts plagued by violence and epic delusions to a child who con foretell the coming of rain in the sweet scent of angels, here is a rich and poignant tale of outcasts struggling to live and die with dignity ... and to hold onto their past while embracing an unsteady future.

About the Author

The late Arturo Islas was our most acclaimed and accomplished literary explorer of Mexican-American culture. The publication of his first novel, The Rain God, marked the arrival of a new and unique voice that could speak to both traditions.

Born in 1938 in El Paso, Texas, Islas grew up in the same desert country along the Mexican-American border that is the home of the Angel family in his novels. He earned his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees from Stanford University, where he continued as a professor of English. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a University Fellow, as well as a recipient of the Lloyd W. Dinkelspeil Award for outstanding service to undergraduate educationat Stanford. One of Islas' most popular courses was a limited enrollment seminar, called "American Lives," that mixed readings in literary autobiography with students' own attempts to chronicle important aspects of their lives.

He wrote Migrant Souls, the companion novel to The Rain God, a year before he died at home in Stanford in early 1991. He was at work on a third novel.