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Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize
Finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award
"[A] sparkling debut collection…features dreamers and schemers whose lives pulsate with wild hopes, hard luck, stunning secrets, and saving grace." —Elle
With intensity, dark humor, 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. Set in northern New Mexico, Night at the Fiestas is a beautifully rendered debut about living in a land shaped by love, loss, and violence.
About the Author
Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. The recipient of a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation, she teaches at Princeton University and lives in New Jersey.
Haunting and beautiful. — New York Times Book Review
Her vision has thrived on…fierce, flesh-conscious desire for transcendence. — Atlantic
Quade demonstrates her command of writing about complex issues of ethnicity and success head-on. — San Francisco Chronicle
[A] polished and potent collection…Rooted deeply in place and ringing with authentic voices, these gripping stories confront the hardest human questions of how to love, trust and forgive. — O, The Oprah Magazine
Each of the ten stories offers a lyrical aria of its own, but together they create the music of generations, of families, and of a people. — Ploughshares
Now that we’ve read [Quade’s] darkly funny investigations into relationships, we can agree: her talent is undeniable. — Marie Claire
Fresh, funny….A gifted storyteller with an eye for quirky, compelling detail….A poised and polished debut. — Dallas Morning News
[Lives] up to even the loftiest of expectations. — Bustle
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. Her New Mexico is a crucible where individual desire is forged, lost, and reconstituted amid a backdrop of colliding histories and cultures. The result is as close to flesh and blood as black ink on white paper can come. 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. Night at the Fiestas is a book of extraordinary virtuosity.
— 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 writer of extraordinary perception, a sharp-eyed truth-teller who renders her characters and the landscapes they inhabit with exquisite care. Each of these marvelous stories illuminates the messy, tender, unexplored borderland inside us all where our finest virtues bleed into our worst faults. A brilliant debut. — Maggie Shipstead