The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue

Manuel Munoz, Author . Algonquin $12.95 (239p) ISBN 978-1-56512-532-2

Munoz delivers another book of short stories colored by the heat of California's Central Valley and shot through with despair and a hint of magic. Following his debut, Zigzagger , these 10 interconnected tales are filled with characters living lives of isolation, alienated both from one another and the mainstream culture. Much of what happens is waiting and watching: a young gay man envies the glamorous life of his neighbor in "The Comeuppance of Lupe Rivera"; a young woman waits for her runaway cousin at a bus station in "The Heart Finds Its Own Conclusion"; and a mother waits for her only son's death after a motorcycle crash in "Lindo y Querido." The title story sees a young man robbed of his strength and promise when an industrial accident leaves him in the care of his overburdened father, whose hope lies in the promise of a faith healer. Munoz writes with restraint and without pretension, giving fearless voice to personal tragedies. (May)

Reviewed on: 02/05/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 177 pages - 978-1-84471-474-2
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