Part memoir, part history, part novel,Pinnick Kinnick Hill: An American Storyby Gavin W. Gonzalez is a cross-genre, bittersweet celebration of one small Spanish community in the ethnic salmagundi of twentieth-century America.
A West Virginia University Press favorite first published in hardcover in 2003,Pinnick Kinnick Hillis now available in a bilingual paperback with side-by-side English-Spanish facing pages.
The author, Gavin W.BillGonzlez, Sr., was born in 1909 in Anmoore, W. Va. near Clarksburg, to immigrants from Asturias, Spain. The Gonzlezes and their immigrant neighbors built a lively community around a hilltop where they picnicked. Not until 1995, seven years after Gonzlez died, did his daughter Mary Fran discover her fathers manuscriptPinnick Kinnick Hillin an old suitcase.
With humor and frankness,Pinnick Kinnick Hillexplores themes familiar in Appalachian history and American immigration.
It is a story of bigotry, intolerance, and violence, as well as a story of community resistance, cross-ethnic cooperation, and resilience,said Suronda Gonzlez, director of the Languages across the Curriculum Program at Binghamton University.
Pinnick Kinnick Hillcould have been written as a labor memoir, a bitter indictment of American capitalism, a rant against the exploitation of immigrant workers, said Mark Brazaitis, professor of creative writing at WVU , who edited the manuscript.
It could also have been written as an immigrantParadise Lost, about families uprooting themselves to come to what they envisioned as a kind of Eden but which proved a thornier place whose dark reaches included the Ku Klux Klan, merciless capitalists, and the dreaded Black Hand mob, but Gonzlez took a different approach, celebrating the kind of human spirit that has become, in popular myth, identified so closely with Americans,Brazaitis said.
The book is about the hills of West Virginia and about the dreams of Asturian emigrants,said Daniel F. Ferreras, professor of Spanish at WVU , who translated the manuscript.
The literal English translation of Gonzlezs Spanish title,Las colinas suean en espaol,meansThe hills dream in Spanish,Ferreras explains.
The hills do dream in Spanish and tell us that we should never forget again, for knowing the past helps us understand the present and allows all of us to work together toward a better future, free of segregation and exploitation,he said.
Pinnick Kinnick Hillis a good read for anyone interested in West Virginia, Appalachian, and American history or in immigrant first-person narratives, said Patrick Conner, director of the WVU Pres.
Its also a great teaching tool for English speakers learning Spanish and Spanish speakers learning English,Conner added
For more information about the new paperback edition ofPinnick Kinnick Hill, visit the WVU Press atwww.wvupress.com, or 1-866-WVUPRESS.