“The Chicano in You” by Daniel A. Olivas


Author’s Commentary: While I don’t know if “inspiration” is the right word, I have been compelled to address—through fiction, essays, and playwriting—the election of Donald Trump especially with respect to his bigoted attacks on immigrants. And with respect to fiction, I have found that dystopian storylines and magical realism seem to be the appropriate literary vehicles for me to do this. “The Chicano in You” is one of three short stories that I have written that address the Trump presidency. I discussed my first piece of such fiction (the short story, “The Great Wall”) in a New York Times op-ed, “The Dystopia Is Here.” The third short story (“Los Otros Coyotes”) appears in the anthology Both Sides: Stories from the Border (Polis Books, 2020), edited by Gabino Iglesias.”


Daniel A. Olivas is the author of nine books and editor of two anthologies. His latest books are The King of Lighting Fixtures: Stories (University of Arizona Press, 2017) and Crossing the Border: Collected Poems (Pact Press, 2017). Widely anthologized, Olivas has written for many publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Guardian, and BOMB. His writing has appeared in many literary journals, including PANK, Fairy Tale Review, MacGuffin, New Madrid, and The Prairie Schooner Blog. He shares blogging duties at La Bloga, which is dedicated to Chicanx and Latinx literature.