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Published:August 28th, 2013 20:17 EST
Judyth Piazza interviews Filiberto 'Beto' Conde, Author of America Down by the River

Judyth Piazza interviews Filiberto 'Beto' Conde, Author of America Down by the River

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)

Beto Conde was born in South Texas and started writing after returning from combat service in the Vietnam War. He started writing about his experiences in the war as self-therapy. The more he read and wrote, he felt a need to tell about growing up and living in the dual cultures of South Texas " and how he saw life unfolding during in his formative years. As such, writing became his way of recording personal history and stories heard over the years from his parents, relatives, and others about their lives. He is a retired social worker and HR Director working on his second book and third books.

Beto is creative, observant and a true oral historian who has taken the time to actually document daily happenings in his life. He`s a listener and always ready to write sketches of his thoughts and of what he has heard that day. Gabriel Garcia Marquez said, Too many writers worry about the form and forget about the content. "Beto focuses on the content more than form but has kept the form as needed for the content of the book. For us readers that appreciate true life stories and can relate to many of the cultural experiences, it`ll be a real treat to buy and read his book."  ̶  Dr.Enriqueta Lopez Ramos (Dr. Ramos earned her PHD in Comparative Cultures at the University of California at Irvine.)

Beto Conde`s short stories remind me of Mark Twain`s stories. His warm, honest, and very funny tales capture exactly the voices of the border, the barrios, the stories of the South Texas America. "  ̶  Cristina Balli (Executive Director of Texas Folklife and former Director of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center)

America Down by the River takes the reader into the world of dual self-identification historically typical of South Texas Americans of Mexican descent. The struggle to know English from one day to the next on the first day of school is reflected in the humorous but serious quote, Shet up, you`re laughing in Spanish, you`re going to get a spanking, pendejo. The stories in this book are about everyday people living everyday lives. Witness daily life, humorous recollections, coping with melting in the pot, social change, unchanging traditions, and assimilation. Get a glance at a Vietnam experience and the lasting effects of war revealed in the poem Demons. Coming to terms with it all from the two worlds of South Texas in the 1950`s, 60`s, 70`s, and into the present is brought to life in the ground level poems and short stories. These same stories were and are still being lived from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego, California.