Camp Olvido: A Novella (Paperback)
Fiction. California Interest. In the California heartland in 1932, at a migrant labor camp whose very name means forgotten, a child's sudden illness leads to tensions between workers wishing to break camp and the land barons enforcing their contracts. Into this dispute Esteban Alas--contrabandista and self- styled businessman--is reluctantly drawn as a mediator, until an act of violence forces him into a more tragic role.
CAMP OLVIDO is everything a novella should be--intense as it is resonant, propulsive as it is deep--but, even more than a shining example of the form, it is simply a great story. I haven't read anything as powerful about pickers and California since I read John Steinbeck. Lawrence Coates writes with every bit as much tenderness and compassion, but this moving novella--full of characters I won't forget and images I can't--is cut with a clear-eyed, brutal honesty that gives it a hard-won wisdom and beauty all its own.--Josh Weil
A] stunning exploration of one man's bold actions and their consequences. Gorgeously written, the novella shows the dark side of California's prosperity, with violence and, unexpectedly, elements of the divine. A superb addition to a distinguished series.--Cary Holladay
I have rarely read a novella so rich, with the moral complexities of Melville's Billy Budd and the social and visual acuity of a film like Bu uel's Los olvidados... Read CAMP OLVIDO, a masterful work of fiction, as provocative as it is jaw-dropping in its beauty.--Wendell Mayo
In CAMP OLVIDO, Lawrence Coates paints a sensual and humane picture of life and death in a depression-era work camp peopled by Latino fieldworkers... showing not only the sorrow of endemic poverty and powerlessness but the love and good humor of a community that can endure.--Bonnie Jo Campbell.