The National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35, 2014

Kirstin Valdez Quade

Night at the Fiestas

(W.W. Norton & Company, March 2015)

Selected by Andre Dubus III, 1999 National Book Award Finalist for House of Sand and Fog

Alex GilvarryKirstin Valdez Quade’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. She was a Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University and teaches writing as the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan. She is a 2013 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award winner.

About Night at the Fiestas:

Set in northern New Mexico, an astonishing, beautifully rendered debut about living in a landscape shaped by love, loss, and violence.

With intensity, dark humor, and emotional precision, Kirstin Valdez Quade’s unforgettable stories plunge us into the fierce, troubled hearts of characters torn between their desires to escape the past and to plumb its depths. The deadbeat father of a pregnant teenager tries to transform his life by playing the role of Jesus in a bloody penitential Passion. A young man discovers that his estranged father and a boa constrictor have been squatting in his grandmother’s empty house. A young woman finds herself at an impasse when she is asked to hear her priest's confession.

Always hopeful, these stories chart the passions and obligations of family life, exploring themes of race, class, and coming-of-age, as Quade's characters protect, betray, wound, undermine, bolster, define, and, ultimately, save one another.


Andre Dubus III, image by Kevin Hart Andre Dubus III is the author of six books including:  The New York Times bestsellers, House of Sand and Fog, which was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist and made into an Academy Award-nominated film; The Garden of Last Days (soon to be a major motion picture); and his memoir, Townie, which was a New York Times "Editors Choice". His most recent book, Dirty Love, has been listed as a New York Times “Notable Book”, a New York Times “Editors’ Choice”, and a 2013 “Notable Fiction” choice from The Washington Post. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books have been published in more than twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts—Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children. Photo credit: Kevin Hart