8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

City Guide 2014: “Outside the Loop” is used as a pejorative by Downtown-centric cool kids, but oases of culture can be found in the sprawling suburbs of the North Side.... By Dan R. Goddard 2/24/2014
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
4 Downtown Dive Bars to Embarrass Yourself In

4 Downtown Dive Bars to Embarrass Yourself In

City Guide 2014: In the last few years, San Antonio has made great strides when it comes to its mixology doings. Many good (and some great!) cocktail bars have been springing... By Tim Hennessey 2/24/2014
Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

Alamo Colleges Barely Passed Its Own Accountability Test

News: After months of passionate protest, petitions and public forums, faculty, students and administration of the five Alamo Community Colleges let out... By Mary Tuma 4/16/2014

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Book Review

Stragglers own the center of 'Before the End'

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Before the End, After the Beginning, Dagoberto Gilb, Grove Press, $24.00, 208 pages

Dagoberto Gilb's new collection, Before the End, After the Beginning, is filled with the strivers, drifters, and dreamers who inhabit the Southwest from Los Angeles to Austin, that long road of exile that runs from broken memories towards the next hopeful, bewildering horizon. Written after his stroke in 2009, the suite of 10 stories begins with "please, thank you." Set in a post-op hospital room, pecked out in lower case, it traces the physical recovery of a narrator no longer young, railing through therapy against the betrayal of his body and the weight of his family's gentle solicitude. In "Willows Village," embarrassing kindness intrudes again as a married man finds himself dependent on an older woman in a foreign city. A young boy alternates between frustrations and wistful expectations as his single mother searches for a husband, while he makes his own judgments of potential fathers in "Uncle Rock." Filled with a longing for warmth and stability, his men dream of women they have left behind or shudder to embrace in new, strange rooms. In Gilb's tales, betrayals are met without just consequences, and best intentions threaten ruin. Much is misunderstood, and when discovered, an unimagined place is revealed in piercing clear light for a painfully short moment. Then someone speaks, or leaves, and everything folds suddenly into a new uncertain tumult. Gilb follows strings of events and stories that cross the lives of his Chicano and Mexican characters, but as they survey the frontiers of loss and opportunity, it isn't class or identity that walls them in or opens chance up precipitously, but the incomprehensible exactness of the moment that unites us all.

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