Through 29 storylike essays, Gonzalez takes readers into the heart of the desert and the soul of a developing poet. He introduces us to the people who shaped his life. We learn of his father's difficulties with running a pool hall and of his grandmother's steadfast religious faith. We meet sinister Texas Rangers, hallucinatory poets, illegal aliens, and racist high school jocks. His vivid recollections embrace lizard hunts and rattlesnake dreams, rock music and menudo making—all in stories that convey the pains and joys of growing up on the border. As Gonzalez leads us through his desert of hope and vision, we come to recognize the humor and sadness that permeate this special place.
"A haunted book, in the best sense of the term. . . . He brings readers into a realm of rattlesnake dreams, UFOs, inscrutable lizards, a haunted house and a vast panorama of desert dwellers. . . . Gonzalez sees the past in all its grandeur and all its ruin." —Albuquerque Journal
"Readers who want to wake up y oler la cafe brewed by the Chicano literary movement would do well to keep Ray Gonzalez high on their reading lists." —Dallas Morning News
"His poet's eye captures the colors and silences of the desert, while his lively sense of humor and his unfailing honesty show us a desert boy's life. . . . A rich kaleidoscope of life in the Southwest becomes immediate for the reader." —Rocky Mountain News
"Profoundly contemplative, often lyrical, and sometimes humorous, Memory Fever is a work rich in images of El Paso, of family life, student life and religious culture—and of the desert, a place both beautiful and fearsome...Gonzalez is a writer of rare depth and sensitivity." —El Paso Times