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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2015 Kirstin Valdez Quade (P)2015 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

  • National Book Critics Circle Award Winner, John Leonard Prize, 2015

What listeners say about Night at the Fiestas

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    1 out of 5 stars

Just. Could. Not.

I tried. I really did. I have impeccable Latinx and Mestizo cred: my paternal family are descendants of original land grant holdings from the Spanish empire settlers of the early 18th century in SW New Mexico. My maternal grandparents emigrated to NM in 1912 for work. My mat Great GF was Tarahuamara Indian; my mat GF's mother was Chiricahua Apache, from the same people of Geronimo. I found these tales incredibly stilted and pandering view of our people that only contribute to the ongoing misunderstanding of our heritage. I beg you. Don't waste your time (like I did). And please don't listen to this author.