Raymond Barrio's social protest novel The Plum Plum Pickers (1969) remains the most anthologized work of Chicano fiction. Selections from it have appeared in more than twenty high-school and college-level textbooks. Barrio is not Chicano by birth; he was born in West Orange, New Jersey, of Hispanic parentage. His parents immigrated to the United States from Spain in 1920. His father, Saturnino Barrio, born in Seville, was killed by poisonous fumes in a chemical factory in New Jersey; his mother, Angelita Santos Barrio, was from Algeciras and is living today in San Francisco. In unpublished correspondence Barrio explained that he and his brother lived with foster families while their mother pursued her career as a Spanish dancer, giving him a very independent United States Protestant education, despite a Catholic birth and upbringing.
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