… A Modern-Day Odyssey …
A Man of His Village
- Winner of ForeWord Magazine's Gold Award in Literary Fiction
- Winner of the Eric Hoffer Prize in General Fiction
Florentino Cruz takes one last job before he heads home to Mexico. He left his village at the age of fifteen, a migrant farm worker dreaming of love, honor, and riches, and has been running from his past ever since. He accepts a promising job in Alaska, the magnificent climax to his years of toil in the United States. But the expedition collapses in mutiny and murder, leaving Florentino lost and fleeing for his life through a fire-ravaged wilderness.
A Man of His Village occupies the epic terrain of the West, from the borderlands of California to the strawberry fields of Oregon, from urban Seattle to rural Mexico, from the crowded slums of Tijuana to the isolation of the Alaskan bush. Inspired by real events, this is a tragedy of pride and redemption, the voyage of a passionate soul out of innocence and across a continental landscape of betrayal.
"... the most original and gripping work of fiction set in Alaska that I have ever read."
Anchorage Daily News
"... a complex, thought-provoking, thoroughly enjoyable story with a great sense of adventure, too."
Book Club Classics
"... a descent into savagery that makes 'Lord of the Flies' look like a kindergarten skirmish ... an adventure far more inevitable and gruesome than anything Stephen King ever wrote..."
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
"... a quest and saga filled with compassion and understanding ... an adventure in the Alaskan outback that is like something right out of Jack London ... a pleasure and a delight."
"... a skilled balance of surprise and plausibility ... [an] exceptional tale."
from the 2007 Hoffer Book Award Citation
"... a masterful job of bringing face and personality to a volatile political issue ... riveting and genuine ... has left an indelible mark on my thinking..."
Richard R. Blake
"Peppery and sweet, lively and subtle, funny and horrific ... a beautiful page-turner of a novel, full of rich and generous insights. You'll long remember Florentino, whose dreams carry him far from his impoverished homeland, deep into hell. Like Jack London and John Steinbeck, Tanyo Ravicz looks closely at the ties binding the powerful and the powerless in the West ... First-rate realism from a fine new voice in American fiction."
author of In Extremis and Other Alaskan Stories
"A Man of His Village is about a man of my village, and most likely a man of your village, and of our village. Its genius is that it seamlessly blends the here and there, the near and far. This is the gripping and authentic life history of a Mixtec migrant worker who moves north through vastly different worlds. The author ... knows these worlds and weaves them with feeling into a compelling and important tapestry."
Professor of Anthropology, U. C. Riverside
"... a powerful insight [in]to the lives of many illegal aliens who seek a better life in America."
"A modern-day Odyssey. Tanyo Ravicz takes the reader on an eye-opening journey. Always, no matter where the hero travels, his thoughts are about place, home, the land and the people living on it ... Above all this is great story-telling."