Orientation and Other Stories

Daniel Orozco. Faber & Faber, $23 (176p) ISBN 978-0-86547-853-4
Veteran short-fiction journeyman Orozco makes a long-overdue book debut with a rewarding collection infused with wonderfully wrought landscapes and telling glimpses of alienation. In the much anthologized title story, an omniscient tour guide takes a new hire around the cubicles, identifying the employee who is also a serial killer, several one-sided love interests, and the resident ghost of the office. The haunting "Hunger Tales" comprised sketches of people who gorge, splurge on supermarket cookies, or, like a 600-pound Iraq War veteran, eat themselves into obesity, revealing the power of food to heal, connect, and hurt. In "I Run Every Day," a pathological long-distance runner deals with the hectoring of his fellow workers and the come-ons of the new secretary, who gets as close as anyone ever has and pays a price for it. Orozco displays considerable descriptive ability with an obsessive attention to banal details, spinning archetypes to complicate a cross-section of American society. The writer's gifts are particularly apparent in "Somoza's Dream," the tale of a South American dictator in exile and his assassin. This collection has been a long time coming, and it's been worth the wait. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-4668-0058-8
Paperback - 162 pages - 978-0-86547-871-8
Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-4299-9521-4
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