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Book Details: 246 pages, hardback, West Virginia University Press
Nearly a century ago, hundreds of families journeyed from Spain to the United States, to search for a better life in the growing zinc-industry towns of Harrison County, West Virginia. As they created a new culture and a new home in this strange land, they added another thread to the rich fabric of our nation.
Writing from his perspective as a first-generation son of this immigrant community, GonzÃ¡lez recounts his childhood memories of his neighborhood, where these immigrants raised their families, worked in the often insufferable conditions of the zinc factories, and celebrated "romerias" and feast days with their neighbors.
Gavin W. "Bill" GonzÃ¡lez was born in 1909 in Anmoore, West Virginia, the son of immigrants from Asturias, Spain. The GonzÃ¡lezes and their neighbors built a lively community centered around a place called Pinnick Kinnick Hill. Though Gavin GonzÃ¡lez eventually moved away from his childhood home, he never forgot West Virginia, often taking his children and grandchildren on pilgrimages to Pinnick Kinnick Hill. Only after his death in 1988 did the family discover that he had written a memoir recounting the stories of his youth.
The book is partly a memoir, partly a history, and partly a novel, all combined in a sometimes heartwarming and sometimes bittersweet celebration of how one small Spanish community survived and then prospered in the ethnic caldron that was America.
Published in side-by-side English and Spanish, Pinnick Kinnick Hill: An American Story is a story of struggle and disappointment, but ultimately one of resilience, cooperation, and one man's discovery of America.
246 pages, hardback, West Virginia University Press
Pinnick Kinnick Hill, An American Story is a lightly fictionalized memoir by Gain Gonzalez, a first generation American whose parents emigrated from Spain. Gonzalez's story recounts the lives of his parents and their fellow immigrants who settled in Harrison County, West Virginia in the early twentieth century. According to Suronda Gonzalez (no relation to the author) who wrote the preface, Pinnick Kinnick Hill "is a historical treasure that enriches understandings of Appalachian, U.S., and Spanish history." And from the Foreword by Patrick W. Conner, "The book is partly a memoir, partly a history, and partly a novel, all combined in a sometimes heartwarming and sometimes bittersweet celebration of how one small Spanish community survived and then prospered in the ethnic caldron that was America."