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“In What It Takes to Get to Vegas the contrapuntal viewpointsdefiant and self-doubting, calculating and fuzzy-headedare combined into a single stream of consciousness. Frenetic, bittersweet, and often hilarious, Rita’s voice is at once specifically American in its rhythms and syntax, and indisputably female. . . . Rita Zapata is who Holden Caufield would want to be if he were alive in 1999.”The Boston Globe
What It Takes to Get to Vegas
978-0-8021-3737-1 • $14.95 • Paperback • Oct. 2000
Growing up in East L.A., surrounded by its alleyway gladiators and championship hopefuls, young Rita Zapata sees in boxing a ticket to something better. By eighteen, she’s earned the title “ Queen of the Streetfighters.” Then she meets Billy, an enigmatic, intense fighter from Mexico who begins systematically clawing his way to the top. Their passionate connection gives Rita two things she’s never had: real love, and respect in the neighborhood. From the alleys off César Chávez Avenue to the carpeted suites of Caesars Palace, Rita learns exactly what it takes to get to Vegas, as Billy turns out to be the best thing that has ever happened to herand the worst. In exuberant prose sparkling with wicked wit, Yxta Maya Murray has given us a sass-talking, big-hearted heroine with a story we will not soon forget.