La Mollie and the King of Tears: A Novel

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Meet Louie Mendoza, a jazz musician who likes to talk--who can't seem to stop talking for the life of him, in fact. It's 1973, the comet Kahoutek is coming, and the world may be about to end. It doesn't quite end for Louie, but the morning hours find him at San Francisco General Hospital, telling his tale to a stranger while he waits to hear the fate of his lover, La Mollie. As Louie recounts his journey from her apartment to his gig in the Mission District, a shooting, a broken leg and his frustrated efforts to find his way home, he lets us in on what's brought him to this place, this moment, and his love for this woman. His characters, funny and serious, switch from the desert to the city, from rock to mambo, from tears to laughter. He captures the expansive spirit and capacity de su gente. --Jose Antonio Burciaga Reveals new dimensions of Islas's talent: his ear for the street and his gift for comedy. Delightful. --Diane Middlebrook