The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue

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Overview


Manuel Munoz's dazzling collection is set in a Mexican-American neighborhood in central California-a place where misunderstandings and secrets shape people's lives. From a set of triplets with three distinct fates to a father who places his hope-and life savings-in the hands of a faith healer, the characters in these stories cross paths in unexpected ways. As they do, they reveal a community that is both embracing and unforgiving, and they discover a truth about the nature of home: you always live with its ...
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The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue

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Overview


Manuel Munoz's dazzling collection is set in a Mexican-American neighborhood in central California-a place where misunderstandings and secrets shape people's lives. From a set of triplets with three distinct fates to a father who places his hope-and life savings-in the hands of a faith healer, the characters in these stories cross paths in unexpected ways. As they do, they reveal a community that is both embracing and unforgiving, and they discover a truth about the nature of home: you always live with its history. Munoz is an explosive new talent who joins the ranks of such acclaimed authors as Junot Diaz and Daniel Alarcon.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
A "moving and tender story collection . . . Munoz writes elegantly and sympathetically . . . His stories are far too rich to be classified under the limiting rubrics of 'gay' or 'Chicano' fiction; they have a softly glowing, melancholy beauty that transcends those categories and makes them universal."--The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly

Munoz delivers another book of short stories colored by the heat of California's Central Valley and shot through with despair and a hint of magic. Following his debut, Zigzagger, these 10 interconnected tales are filled with characters living lives of isolation, alienated both from one another and the mainstream culture. Much of what happens is waiting and watching: a young gay man envies the glamorous life of his neighbor in "The Comeuppance of Lupe Rivera"; a young woman waits for her runaway cousin at a bus station in "The Heart Finds Its Own Conclusion"; and a mother waits for her only son's death after a motorcycle crash in "Lindo y Querido." The title story sees a young man robbed of his strength and promise when an industrial accident leaves him in the care of his overburdened father, whose hope lies in the promise of a faith healer. Munoz writes with restraint and without pretension, giving fearless voice to personal tragedies. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Jamie S. Hansen
Stories can define a neighborhood, and in doing so, they can define lives. This collection of interconnected stories about a Mexican American neighborhood near Fresno, California, details in painful and painstaking precision lives of quiet desperation. Readers meet characters like the triplets who share a birthday but nothing else, including their fates; a father who must live with the terrible consequences of failing his son; three men who look to each other for love and find only emptiness; a young single father whose return to his old home results in unhappiness for his child; and a desperate father who gives all his hope and his life savings to a faith healer to make his son walk again. Such is the author's skill that these sad and moody people will remain with the reader long after the book is closed. Whether written in first or in third person, the stories are simple and matter-of-fact. The author is not asking readers to judge but simply to observe and perhaps to learn. The tales are told with a quiet dignity, in the barest of language. The characters reveal themselves by their words; readers know little of their physical appearance. Tragic or ironic events that link their lives loom large in all the narratives, while the people play out their stories against the backdrop of their occasionally cruel but ultimately embracing home neighborhood. Young adults interested in modern Latino literature will find these stories worthy of consideration.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565125322
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 5/4/2007
  • Pages: 239
  • Sales rank: 808,968
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Manuel Muñoz’s short story collection, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship and the prestigious Whiting Award, and is currently teaching creative writing at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
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Table of Contents


Lindo y Querido     1
Bring Brang Brung     24
The Heart Finds Its Own Conclusion     47
When You Come into Your Kingdom     71
Tell Him About Brother John     104
Ida y Vuelta     123
Senor X     150
The Comeuppance of Lupe Rivera     181
The Good Brother     193
The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue     215
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