Synopses & Reviews
Breakfasts boiled egg, the overhead hum of fluorescent lights, the midmorning coffee break—daily routines keep the world running. But when people are pushed—by a coworkers taunt, a face-to-face encounter with a woman in free fall from a bridge—cracks appear, revealing alienation, casual cruelty, madness, and above all a simultaneous hunger for and fear of the unknown.
Daniel Orozco leads the reader through the hidden lives and moral philosophies of bridge painters, men housebound by obesity, office temps, and warehouse workers. He reveals the secret pleasures of late-night supermarket trips for cookie binges, exceptional data entry, and an exiled dictators occasional piss on the U.S. embassy. A love affair blooms between two officers in the impartially worded pages of a police blotter; a new employees first-day office tour includes descriptions of other workers most private thoughts and actions; during an earthquake, the consciousness of the entire state of California shakes free for examination.
Orientation introduces a writer at the height of his powers, whose work surely invites us to reassess the landscape of American fiction.
Orientation is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Short Story Collections title.
"The moment you begin this incomparable debut, you'll discover why Daniel Orozco's fans have been shouting his praises for years. In these wildly original stories, single details reveal whole human lives; the impersonal dissolves seamlessly into the personal; the geological transforms into the psychological; and the short story itself breaks open to reveal previously unimagined possibility. This may be Orozco's first collection, but he's nothing short of a master." Julie Orringer, author of The Invisible Bridge and How to Breathe Underwater
"This book brims with big, deadly surprises and sharp, hallucinatory images. Orozco can do anything: first, second, third person; he can explode moments into whole stories, and dash through lifetimes in a paragraph. Orientation contains nine unsettling, boundary-crossing, and exquisitely-fashioned stories -- and I won't be surprised when it becomes a classic." Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector and Memory Wall
About the Author
Daniel Orozcos stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The Best American Essays, and the Pushcart Prize anthology, as well as in publications such as Harpers Magazine, Zoetrope: All-Story, McSweeneys, Ecotone, and StoryQuarterly. He was awarded a 2006 NEA Fellowship in fiction, and was a finalist for a 2006 National Magazine Award in fiction. A former Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford, he teaches creative writing at the University of Idaho.