If it’s not quite true that Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club (Cinco Puntos, $16.95) for the characters in this year’s PEN/Faulkner Award-winning collection of short fiction, the Juárez bar gets a cameo in each of these seven warm and engaging stories. Benjamin Alire Sáenz, the Mexican-American poet and author of books for children and young adults, focuses on the Hispanic community in El Paso. Many of his characters have fled the violence of Juárez but remain connected to it by dealing or using drugs. Others restrict any addictive tendencies to drinking or serial hook-ups, activities that leave them depressed and frustrated; they don’t want love to be casual, but it’s a skill that perplexes them. Identity is similarly troubling; with allegiances in two languages, they’re constantly torn. While many, especially the fathers, respond to the insecurity of border-town life by growing bitter and domineering—one makes “cruelty…his drug of choice”—and children feel emotionally stunted, others find a refuge in art, falling in love with books if they can’t find the right person.
Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781935955320
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Cinco Puntos Press - October 30th, 2012

The stories of We Live in Water (Harper Perennial, $14.99) combine Jess Walter’s flare for the humorous with the desperation of poverty, bad luck, and poor choices. Walter, author of the critically acclaimed novel Beautiful Ruins, focuses on a range of characters here, men who are sometimes petty, like a suspicious father convinced his children are stealing from the vacation fund, and sometimes cruel, as with the protagonist of the title story, who unravels in his final moments of fatherhood. But they can also be tender, like Wade in “The Wolf and the Wild,” who is convicted of fraud but tries to make a difference to the kids he tutors. Jess Walter can turn a phrase, write despair, or make you laugh out loud—often all in the same piece.

We Live in Water: Stories Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061926624
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Published: Harper Perennial - February 12th, 2013

The stories collected in The Angel Esmeralda (Scribner, $24) were written over the course of novelist Don DeLillo’s long and distinguished career.  Like his novels, they display the author’s penchant for looking behind societal, institutional, and personal curtains to show, in language and gesture, the reality underlying everyday life  In the title story an elderly nun working in one of the poorest sections of New York tries to help a teen-aged runaway girl. The interactions of life, memory, and image surface as Sister Edgar confronts the notion of the miraculous after the girl’s death.  In another story, two astronauts aboard an orbiting space craft monitor World War III from above after successful nuclear disarmament has made the world safe for war.  While the stories are diverse, they share DeLillo’s impeccable prose and his unfailing eye for seeing the world stripped of the inessential.

The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781451659092
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - October 2nd, 2012

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