Night at the Fiestas

Honoree, 5 Under 35 2014

Night at the Fiestas cover

W.W. Norton & Company
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Kirstin Valdez Quade

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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.


Kirstin Valdez Quade and Andre Dubus III at the 2014 5 Under 35 Celebration

2014 5 Under 35 Panel Discussion