Aurora. By Rafael Castillo. ISBN 978-1888205-30-5. $19.95.
Rafael Castillo's characters are a Chicano variation of Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks," sleepless souls lost in their own thoughts," Jacinto Jesus Cardona, author of Pan Dulce: Poems
These eleven tightly-packed short stories, often allegorical yet visceral, range from the phantasmagorical "Aurora", whose misdeed has condemned her to a cyclical river of Eternal Return, to the agnostic Tomas and faithful Pedro in the theological "Penitent of Guadalupe Street", where truth is an enigma wrapped in a metaphor. In "Dwarfs and Penitents," an angry jilted husband searches the cobblestone streets of Prague in search of vengeance, while in "The Sands of Dhahran," a middle-age soldier battles his demons during Operation Desert Storm.