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Night at the Fiestas: Stories by Kirstin…
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Night at the Fiestas: Stories

by Kirstin Valdez Quade

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I first came across Kristin Valdez Quade from her story Original Sins, published in The New Yorker. It was so different than the typical New Yorker offering, I had to look at the cover and make sure what I was reading. The story was simple, in form and in style. It was deeply tied to my native New Mexico, the patchwork culture bubbling from each word. Her collection, [Night at the Fiestas], is all like that first story.

The jacket blurb says that Quade’s stories examine characters who are defined by their desire to escape the past or to plumb its depths. It could have more easily said that they are ineffably human. Whether the secretly alcoholic priest or the shiftless penitente, these are people with pasts, and ones you imagine have left scars or limps. But each one is recognizable, relatable. They are people riding on the bus with you every morning but about whom you’ve never been curious enough. Quade gives you access to their stories, and in so doing, your own story, revealing your own struggles for redemption.

Bottom Line: This is what short fiction was meant to be – powerfully simple and boiling with emotion.

5 bones!!!!! ( )
  blackdogbooks | Feb 24, 2017 |
This was a good book. The stories were interesting and I read it because of the hype. It does a good job of portraying cultural differences and life in the world of the Hispanic southwest. I do feel that when I review books that it is important to convey the positive and the negative so other readers can get an overall opinion of the book. This is a good book but I somehow felt that the writing didn't flow. Very hard to explain but it did feel like a new author who had created a formula. Worth reading for the insight into cultural differences. I will probably keep an eye on future books and maybe give her another look. ( )
  nivramkoorb | Aug 14, 2015 |
Night at the Fiestas is a collection of short stories by Kirstin Valdez Quade, a National Book Foundation "5 under 35" author. Quade is definitely deserving of this honor. Her characters are well-developed and the writing engaging. I love the sense of place she creates in the stories which take place in the southwest.

It's a little hard to review this because I read the first four stories a few months ago, but had to return the book to the library and didn't get around to finishing the collection until now.



( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
I received this book for free as part of a first reads promotion ( )
  lilnursesuhy | Mar 4, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393242986, Hardcover)

Set in northern New Mexico, an astonishing, beautifully rendered debut about living in a landscape shaped by love, loss, and violence.

With intensity, dark humor, and emotional precision, Kirstin Valdez Quade’s unforgettable stories plunge us into the fierce, troubled hearts of characters torn between their desires to escape the past and to plumb its depths. The deadbeat father of a pregnant teenager tries to transform his life by playing the role of Jesus in a bloody penitential Passion. A young man discovers that his estranged father and a boa constrictor have been squatting in his grandmother’s empty house. A young woman finds herself at an impasse when she is asked to hear her priest's confession.

Always hopeful, these stories chart the passions and obligations of family life, exploring themes of race, class, and coming-of-age, as Quade's characters protect, betray, wound, undermine, bolster, define, and, ultimately, save one another.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:27 -0400)

A collection of ten stories that "plunge us into the fierce, troubled hearts of characters defined by the desire to escape the past or else to plumb its depths. The deadbeat father of a pregnant teenager tries to transform his life by playing the role of Jesus in a bloody penitential Passion. A young man discovers that his estranged father and a boa constrictor have been squatting in his grandmother's empty house. A lonely retiree new to Santa Fe becomes obsessed with her housekeeper ... Always hopeful, these stories chart the passions and obligations of family life, exploring themes of race, class, and coming-of-age" --Amazon.com.… (more)

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