A bestseller when it was published in 1970 at the height of the Mexican-American civil rights movement, Chicano unfolds the fates and fortunes of the Sandoval family, who flee the chaos and poverty of the Mexican Revolution and begin life anew in the United States.
Patriarch Hector Sandoval works the fields and struggles to provide for his family even as he faces discrimination and injustice. Of his children, only Pete Sandoval is able to create a brighter existence, at least for a time. But when Pete's daughter Mariana falls in love with David, an Anglo student, it sets in motion a clash of cultures. David refuses to marry Mariana, fearing the reaction of his family and friends. Mariana, pregnant with David's child, is trapped between two worlds and shunned by both because of the man she loves. The complications of their relationship speak volumes -- even today -- about the shifting sands of racial politics in America.
In his foreword, award-winning author Ruben Martinez reflects on the historical significance of Chicano's initial publication and explores how cultural perceptions have changed since the story of the Sandoval family first appeared in print.