Zigzagger

Trade Paper – $15.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2099-0
Page Count
184 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9
ISBN
0-8101-2099-2

Zigzagger

Stories
Manuel Munoz
Set mainly in California's Central Valley, Manuel Muñoz's first collection of stories goes beyond the traditional family myths and narratives of Chicano literature and explores, instead, the constant struggle of characters against their physical and personal surroundings. Usually depicted as the lush and green world of rural quiet and tranquility, the Valley becomes the backdrop for the difficulties these characters confront as they try to maintain hope and independence in the face of isolation.

In the title story, a teenage boy learns the consequences of succumbing to the lure of a town outsider; in "Campo," a young farm worker frantically attempts to hide his supervision of a huddle of children from the town police, only to have another young man come to his unexpected rescue; in "The Unimportant Lila Parr," a father must expose his own secrets after his son is found murdered in a highway motel. From conflicts of family and sexuality to the pain of loss and memory, the characters in Zigzagger seek to reconcile themselves with the rural towns of their upbringing--a place that, by nature, is bordered by loneliness.
About the Author
Manuel Muñoz attended Harvard University and Cornell University, and is the recipient of an Individual Artist's Grant in Fiction from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation. His stories have been published in Glimmer Train, Boston Review, Epoch, Colorado Review, and many other journals. He lives in New York City.
Reviews
"Sweet, moody, sexy, cruel. Stories told with such tenderness, they leave
you with your heart aching." -Sandra Cisneros, author of Caramelo and The House on Mango Street

"Muñoz's Central Valley is a part of California—a part of America—that has yet to see many liberations: gay, women's or economic liberation from restrictions imposed for so long on people with brown skin. If his vision is full of despair, so is the reality that his characters must endure; he is much too truthful a writer to present false hope. Zigzagger is a book to read if you want to see another California, one that might be unfamiliar but is home to millions. It heralds the arrival of a gifted and sensitive writer." —Los Angeles Times

"Zigzagger is what happens when a genre grows up-when it matures to a level where the only lesson from reading a book that happens to be written by a Latino author is what happens when language and voice and stunning storytelling come from such an extraordinary talent."
Hartford Courant