I reviewed Amado Muro and Me: A Tale of Honesty and Deception (Texas Christian University Press) by Robert L. Seltzer, with an introduction by Naomi Shihab Nye, for Lone Star Literary Life. This is a touching memoir about the year the author first encountered racism, and the father who helped guide him through. From the review:
Robert Seltzer’s father was the journalist and short story writer Chester Seltzer,who wrote under the pseudonym Amado Muro. Most readers never knew he was Anglo. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Chester was afflicted, or blessed, with a powerful case of wanderlust. During his wanderings, he fell in love with Mexico. Later he married a Mexican woman, Amada Muro, whose family fled the Mexican Revolution for the safety of El Paso.
A man born to money and privilege, Chester was an iconoclast who rejected these values, finding his compatriots in society’s alienated. “[My father] did not just write his short stories,” Robert writes, “he lived them. . . . A kind of latter-day Jack London . . . he rode the rails throughout the Southwest, writing about men who never saw the good times that followed the Great Depression.”
In Amado Muro and Me: A Tale of Honesty and Deception, Robert writes achingly of a father he did not fully comprehend until after his death. Chester spent much time writing, and much time away from home. “His stories were heartfelt and lyrical,” his son writes, “but they exhibited a compassion toward others that should have been directed toward his family.” This memoir is Robert’s nuanced, subtly beautiful, belated appreciation.
Click here to read the entire review. Thank you!