Barrio Boys



Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Gretchen Comba

Second Advisor

Katy Resch George

Third Advisor

Jennifer Rhee


Out in the 805, there’s nothing worse than being utterly desperate for other Mexican folks to stop thinking you’re a white washed punk ass bitch. In the linked story collection Barrio Boys, that’s exactly Will Flores’ problem. And like so many other pochos before him, he’s yet to realize there’s no self-help book for being Chicano. Across a web of space and time, Barrio Boys interweaves a multi-generational family saga of working-class Mexican-Americans living, thriving, and dying in pursuit of money, community, truth, and love. In “A Hero’s Welcome,” a young brown beret attempts to dissuade her cousin from enlisting for the Vietnam War amidst a chaotic Christmas tamalada. “Fire Season” begins in the wake of a historic Southern California wildfire, a writer’s return home, and his growing pretension after his first semester of graduate school. In “Fake Jordans,” a teenager grapples with the growing tension between her self-expression and the judgement of her peers and uncle. And in the title story, “Barrio Boys,” a ragtag group of soccer loving schoolboys attempt to sabotage the arrival of the new kid at their school, in light of the discovery he is an elite travel team player. All in all, the stories of Barrio Boys work to illuminate the fractures of age, socioeconomic status, gender roles, sexual orientation, and perceived identity within an insular community, which is overshadowed by the racism of the dominant American culture.


© Vincent Thomas Chavez

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Sunday, March 25, 2221

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