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So Long, John Wayne, by Rick Ramsey

Jose Miguel is accustomed to bending the world to his will, until he is confronted by the startling presence of Joe the American. Before he can stop it, Jose is swept into the American’s vortex of basketball, Cadillacs, and alcohol. As they compete to win basketball games, get the attention of girls, and surf the wild waves off the Peruvian coast, a grudging friendship grows between the boys.

When Joe’s quiet presence wins the heart of Milagros, the daughter of a prominent Peruvian family, Jose is blinded by envy. Justified by the anti-American sentiment gaining ground in Lima’s universities, he comes to believe that the American is a fraud. He sets out to expose Joe, separate him from Milagros, and remove him from his life.

So Long, John Wayne is set in the boisterous barrios and elegant colonial haciendas of Lima, in the barren and mystical Andes, and in the monster surf that crashes into the rocks below pastel-colored fishing villages. It is a story about friendship and rivalry, love and envy, identity and nationalism.

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