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August 27, 1995|CHARLES SOLOMON

RITA & LOS ANGELES by Leo Romero (Bilingual Press: $12; 144 pp., paperback original). Romero's colorful stories depict Chicano life in the contemporary Southwest. In the title story, an adolescent boy falls in love with the lovely woman on an orange box label who embodies the allure of the city. The young narrator of "Las Vegas, Las Vegas" makes the unhappy discovery that his flyspeck hometown in New Mexico is not the glamorous Nevada city of the same name. In "Petroglyphs," a resolute old woman defends ancient rock decorations against the degradation of modern society.

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