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The Last Flight of Jose Luis Balboaby Gonzalo Barr
Synopses & Reviews
Set in vibrant, multicultural Miami, this absorbing debut collection of short stories captures the international hub city in all its roiling guises, from the opulence of South Beach to the ferocity of Little Havana.
"A lightly sparring debut collection of nine stories by Floridian Barr delves into the Hispanic community of Miami. 'Braulio Wants His Car Back' pits the loyalty of two men who journeyed from Cuba on a raft together against their edgy relationship to American capitalism. In 'Faith,' a TV news anchor grapples with a potentially substantial story about a woman claiming to have seen the Virgin Mary, while all the while a hurricane bears down angrily on the city as if in divine retribution. 'Melancholy Guide Through the Country of Want' is a strange, sad tale of two very wealthy neighbors — a solitary bachelor with aristocratic Caribbean roots and a lonely young wife with a restraining order against her husband — whose relationship proves a valiant but doomed attempt to cancel the violence contained within each other's respective histories. The title story, appearing last in this uneven collection, is made up of diverse voices in South Beach, high brow and low, that collide tragically on the beach with the suicide ride of an ultralight glider. Barr demonstrates fine storytelling with a good ear for nuance in this year's Bread Loaf Bakeless Prize winner, introduced by Francine Prose. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Set in vibrant, multicultural Miami, The Last Flight of José Luis Balboa is an absorbing debut collection of short stories from a gifted writer. Gonzalo Barr captures this international hub city in all its roiling guises, from the opulence of South Beach to the ferocity of Little Havana. Barr introduces us to unforgettable characters — an unscrupulous newscaster, a Lincoln Road bar manager, a beautiful but cruel teenaged heartbreaker, and the title character, a suicidal Latin pop star — in situations that teem with humor and brutality, absurdity and poignance. This remarkable debut offers a vivid portrait of a city defined by a blur of cultures.
About the Author
GONZALO BARR is the winner of the 2005 Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize for fiction, selected by Francine Prose and awarded by Middlebury College and the Bread Loaf Writers'Conference. His stories have been published in Gulf Stream and The Street Miami. He lives in Miami, Florida.
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