I’m sorry parts of my novel, Hard to Have Heroes left a bad taste in your mouth, but I do appreciate the few nice things you said about the book. Obviously, you and the Pima County Library System—which has just selected Hard to Have Heroes as one of the best books about the Southwest published in 2012—have wildly different tastes in literature.
When you said that Hard to Have Heroes is a novel with little literary merit, you may be right but I believe you totally missed the point of my endeavors. It wasn’t written as a dramatic literary masterpiece, but as a humorous piece of whimsical fiction designed to make a reader giggle a bit and sob a bit and perhaps be entertained in the process. Neither was it meant to contain a complex plot maze that twists and turns and terminates only when it bumps into itself. Instead, each chapter develops and encloses its own story—much like Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer-- to be read merely for the amusement and information contained within.
As for my “crude rendering of Native Americans and Mexican Americans”, you obviously have no idea of what southern New Mexico was like in the mid-1950s. I was offering no judgments whatsoever, but merely describing the flagrant bigotry and racial stupidity that encompassed the region during that time. The editors at the University of New Mexico Press, one of the country’s most prestigious academic publishers, certainly didn’t think my “rendering” was crude, or the descriptions you speak of would have been removed.
Finally, it was attentive of you to notice that I was “painting a landscape of New Mexico’s southern desert in Sunday comic-strip colors” because that is precisely what Hard to Have Heroes is all about.
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