Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Sheri Joseph - Chair

Second Advisor

John Holman

Third Advisor

Josh Russell


This story cycle focuses on the members of the Ordoñez family of Castroville, California from the time of the first generation’s migration from Mexico in the 1950s to the most recent generation who moves out of the town in the 2000s. “The Ordoñez Pride” shows the entire family as they experience a miracle. Cecilia, the matriarch, receives a belated wedding ring that bursts into flame that doesn’t burn her, but everything else it comes into contact with. The flame also magically sparks hers and her husband’s sex life into overdrive and, late in life, they produce three more children, for a total of nine. Following this framing story, we see snapshots of all the other family members at life-changing moments. In “After the Revolution” we see Ray Ordoñez , the family patriarch, grow from a boy into a man, as he defends his sister from what he perceives to be the American ranch owner practicing the right to first night—a custom that was still practiced in rural Mexico in the twentieth century. Eventually, Ray migrates to California and begins his family, becomes assimilated into American culture, and reluctantly welcomes an American boy—his oldest daughter’s boyfriend—into his household.

Available for download on Monday, April 20, 2099