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Barefoot Dogs


This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


An unforgettable debut of linked stories that follow the members and retinue of a wealthy Mexican family forced into exile after the patriarch is kidnapped.

On an unremarkable night, José Victoriano Arteaga—the head of a thriving Mexico City family—vanishes on his way home from work. The Arteagas find few answers; the full truth of what happened to Arteaga is lost to the shadows of Mexico’s vast and desperate underworld, a place of rampant violence and kidnappings, and government corruption. But soon packages arrive to the family house, offering horrifying clues.

Fear, guilt, and the prospect of financial ruination fracture the once-proud family and scatter them across the globe, yet delicate threads still hold them together: in a swimming pool in Palo Alto, Arteaga’s young grandson struggles to make sense of the grief that has hobbled his family; in Mexico City, Arteaga’s mistress alternates between rage and heartbreak as she waits, in growing panic, for her lover’s return; in Austin, the Arteagas’ housekeeper tries to piece together a second life in an alienating and demeaning new land; in Madrid, Arteaga’s son takes his ailing dog through the hot and unforgiving streets, in search of his father’s ghost.

Multiple award-winning author Antonio Ruiz-Camacho offers an exquisite and intimate evocation of the loneliness, love, hope, and fear that can bind a family even as unspeakable violence tears it apart. “A straight-on jab to the soul” (Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), Barefoot Dogs is a heartfelt elegy to the stolen innocence of every family struck by tragedy. This is urgent and vital fiction.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 12, 2015 – When these linked short stories begin, things are still good for the extended Arteaga family. For teenaged Fernanda, who narrates the first story, it's the "year everybody's planning to spend the summer in Italy," everybody being her and her affluent friends, none of whom has ever taken a cab or subway in their native Mexico. But then Fernanda's grandfather, patriarch Jos Victoriano Arteaga, is kidnapped, and body parts start arriving in the mail. The rest of the stories chart the family's dissolution as they (along with their maids who are like family, except, of course, for all the ways they aren't) flee Mexico City. In an assured debut, Ruiz-Camacho inhabits the minds of Arteaga's extended family, as well as his mistress and the more peripheral characters of his life. In exile in Austin, Madrid, New York, and Palo Alto, the Artegas struggle with the frightening situation, as well as their sense of themselves and the world. A grandson tries to make friends in his new school; a son can't be a father to his own newborn; a daughter takes a lover; secrets and loss are everywhere. Experiencing the ways in which various family members cope or fail to with their new reality makes for gripping, somber reading.
Barefoot Dogs
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Published: Mar 10, 2015
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 160 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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