Night at the Fiestas: Book summary and reviews of Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade

Night at the Fiestas

Stories

by Kirstin Valdez Quade

Night at the Fiestas by Kirstin Valdez Quade
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2015
    288 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

With intensity and emotional precision, Kirstin Valdez Quade's unforgettable stories 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. One girl attempts to uncover the mystery of her cousin's violent past, while another 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 each other.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[I]t's a tribute to her artistry that each story feels vivid and new. Quade's ability to depict an entire world within the limitations of a single story, and to produce a collection with both unity and breadth." - Publishers Weekly

"In her fierce authenticity and gift for crafting character, Quade earns her place alongside fellow excellent newcomers Yelena Akhtiorskaya, Valeria Luiselli, and Molly Antopol." - Booklist

"Quade offers visions of family that have universal resonance." - Kirkus

"It's become cliché to say that a writer's short stories have the weight of novels, but in Kirstin's case it happens to be true…She is a story writer of searing vision." - Anthony Marra

"Kirstin Valdez Quade is a fantastic writer, both stylish and sagacious. The stories here are taut and tense, while at the same time morally complicated, which is to say they cut sharp and they cut deep." - Justin Torres

"A stunning debut. With unflinching honesty and relentless compassion, Kirstin Valdez Quade conjures characters that are uncannily alive. Vibrant, incisive, and wickedly funny, Night at the Fiestas announces the arrival of a fiercely original new voice." - Jennifer duBois

"A debut collection filled with stories that read like classics (reminiscent of the work of Alice Munro or Flannery O'Connor), by a young author who writes with the patient, implacable wisdom of time." - Peter Ho Davies

"Kirstin Valdez Quade is a writer of extraordinary perception, a sharp-eyed truth-teller who renders her characters and the landscapes they inhabit with exquisite care...A brilliant debut." - Maggie Shipstead

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Kirstin Valdez Quade has received a "5 Under 35" award from the National Book Foundation as well as the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award and the 2013 Narrative Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Narrative, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University and is currently the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan.

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