The Chasers

Book Pages: 144 Illustrations: 33 illustrations Published: May 2019

Author: Renato Rosaldo

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Chicanx and Latinx Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Poetry

Renato Rosaldo's new prose poetry collection shares his experiences and those of his group of twelve Mexican American Tucson High School friends known as the Chasers as they grew up, graduated, and fell out of touch. Derived from interviews with the Chasers and three other friends conducted after their fiftieth high school reunion, Rosaldo's poems present a chorus of distinct voices and perspectives that convey the realities of Chicano life on the borderlands from the 1950s to the present.


"The Chasers is at once a snapshot of Chicano culture in the '50s, and contemporary in its humanity." — Meredith O'Neil, Tucson Weekly

"The Chasers is a must read."

— Margaret Randall, World Literature Today

"Rosaldo’s antropoesía is an emerging hybrid genre, a method of knowledge production that cannot be codified. It insists on highlighting nuances rather than erecting schemas. It is precise in its ability to articulate the uncategorizable." — Tara Westmor, Los Angeles Review of Books

"I love this book—the voices, the stories, and the corazón. It's a great collection accessible to poets and Chasers alike, and to kids and adults and académicos, y los que se creen pendejos pero no lo son. It's wise and funny and heartbreaking and moving. Bravo. Felicidades. What a lovely trip Renato Rosaldo has made to the interior of the border and to that other interior, his own heart." — Sandra Cisneros

“Caught between the new cultural vibrations of Elvis and contesting verses of Aztec poets, between being a brown, silenced outcast versus a wild yet polite ‘hard-assing' football hero—these Chaser tracks bear witness. We go from school-life to sun-scorched farm worker fields, from the effects of national segregation and racism, to most of all the awe and growth of collective being and humanity. There is laughter, fast talk, surprise, insight, craziness, raucous carnalismo, and blessings to those who did not survive. Renato Rosaldo has unearthed, untangled, and literally recorded the intertwined lives of the Chasers, their partners, friends, families, city, and region—their emotional, symbolic, and reflective power. He has lived it, found it, written it, and unfurled its multiple voices. A unique and radical masterpiece.” — Juan Felipe Herrera

"In this collection of prose poems Renato Rosaldo reveals the rituals of 'twelve high school guys, more club than gang' who seem to possess perfect recall. Indeed, one feels the individual loneliness of the boys sporting their gray high school jackets, but most importantly, they know what a fair fight is. And that ritualized knowledge has also informed the full-grown speakers of The Chasers. This collection calls forth a moment in history, and, by listening to the characters delivered here, we learn more about ourselves, our culture, our own growing pains." — Yusef Komunyakaa


Availability: In stock
Price: $19.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Renato Rosaldo is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at New York University and the author of several books, including The Day of Shelly's Death, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Prelude  xi
Cast of Characters  xiii
Part I.
Walnuts  3
Never Chicano Enough  5
Suddenly Blank  7
Nice Meals  8
Down the Little Arroyo  9
Never Dreamed  11
A Dark Side  13
Talking with Mom  16
Fastest Naked Sprinter  19
In the Cactus Chronicle  21
The Chaser Mystique  23
Part II.
Playing Bull  27
Sports People  29
All about Fun  32
A Quiet Guy  34
In Formation  35
Champagne in a Martini Class  38
White, Black, or Blue  41
My Inner Mexican Comes In  42
No More Oranges  45
No Emblem  46
Ode to Ralph 48
I'd Like the Job  50
Part III.
Not from Tucson  55
Ornamental Oranges  57
I Never Liked You  60
A Place to Stand  62
Fiftieth Reunion  64
I Was Shaking  69
Three Months Older  71
Guys on One Side  74
In the School Yard  76
Erased  77
You Won't Do Well  78
Part IV.
Observing  83
Never a Fighter  85
Papa y yo hablamos  86
Dad and I Talk  87
You Were or Were Not  89
Raw Eggs  90
My Brother Raul  92
I Remember  93
An Old Story  97
I Am a Chaser  99
My Dad Died When I Was Six  101
Packager  103
Sure Hope We Can Enjoy a Few More Years  107
Acknowledgments  109
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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