Publisher: Cinco Punto Press
Genre: YA Contemporary
It’s crazy! Fifteen-year-old Masi Burciaga hauls bricks to help build a giant pyramid in her neighborhood park. Her neighborhood is becoming more of a ghost town each day since the lard company moved away. Even her school closed down. Her family’s bakery and the other surviving businesses may soon follow. As a last resort, the neighborhood grown-ups enlist all the remaining able-bodied boys and girls into this scheme in hopes of luring visitors. Maybe their neighbors will come back too. But something’s not right about the entrepreneur behind it all. And then there’s the new boy who came to help. The one with the softest of lips. Pig Park is a contemporary Faustian tale that forces us to look at the desperate lengths people will go to in the name of community–and maybe love.
10 Random Thing about Pig Park
1. I first set out to write a play about a mom and pop bakery fighting for survival, needless to say it went a different direction.
2. The protagonist’s name was Tomasina until–much like an old fashioned skirt–I shortened it.
3. Pig Park’s working title was MasaAmerica–a play on the Spanish word for dough (masa) and Meso-America.
4. I imagined the delicious marranitos (ginger pigs) from Bowie Bakery in my hometown of El Paso every time I sat and wrote about the marranitos at Burciaga’s.
5. The marranito on the book’s cover is not from Bowie Bakery, rather from Gussie’s across town.
6. Skinny pigs, sugar-free ginger pigs, are a made up delicacy.
7. There was no pyramid in the initial draft of the novel.
8. The pyramid was inspired by a man who walked into the community organization I worked at looking for sponsors to build exactly that.
9. The real life pyramid was going to be a wood frame topped by thousands of candles.
10. Although I might not want to admit this, I’m most like the mom character in the novel. Yep, I’m a totally a mom.
Claudia is the author of The Smell of Old Lady Perfume (Cinco Puntos, 2008) and Pig Park (Cinco Puntos, 2014). She grew up in sunny El Paso, Texas where she learned that letters form words from reading the subtitles of old westerns with her father. She now lives and writes in Chicago.