Synopses & Reviews
The interconnected stories that comprise The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue
are the work of a young author who has been heralded as "gifted and sensitive," "a serious artist who can spin dazzling stories," and "an extraordinary talent." They mark a major step forward in the career of an explosive new talent who is rapidly joining the ranks of such acclaimed authors as Junot Díaz, Robert Olen Butler, John Rechy, and Daniel Alarcón.
From a set of triplets with three distinct fates, to a young single father forced to return home, to a woman fleeing the effect of rumors, to a father who places his hope and his life savings in the hands of a faith healer, the recurring characters in this collection cross paths in unexpected ways, revealing the neighborhood as an entity that is both embracing and unforgiving. For Muñoz understands an inescapable truth about the nature of home: you always live with its history.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Themes exploring the relationship between parent and adult child and trying to define oneself will appeal to teen readers." School Library Journal
"The tales are told with a quiet dignity, in the barest of language....Young adults interested in modern Latino literature will find these stories worthy of consideration." VOYA
"In these 10 tales of Latinos living in California's Central Valley, Munoz confounds many readers' expectations of what such fiction 'should' be." Booklist
"Love troubles roil the lives of Mexican-Americans in ten superbly grounded stories." Kirkus Reviews
The interconnected stories that comprise Munoz's collection are the work of an explosive new talent. The recurring characters throughout the stories cross paths in unexpected ways, revealing a neighborhood as an entity that is both embracing and unforgiving.
Manuel Muñoz'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 his 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.
Muñoz is an explosive new talent who joins the ranks of such acclaimed authors as Junot Díaz and Daniel Alarcón.
About the Author
Manuel Muñoz is the author of one previous story collection, Zigzagger. Originally from California, he now lives in New York City.