Night At The Fiestas
03/02/2017 - 7:00pm
Central Library - Community Room 301
Presented in partneship with the Program in Creative Writing at the UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Book Festival welcomes Kristin Valdez Quade. With intensity and emotional precision, Kirstin Valdez Quade's unforgettable stories plunge us into the fierce, troubled hearts of characters defined by the desire to escape the past or else 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 lonely retiree new to Santa Fe becomes obsessed with her housekeeper. One girl attempts to uncover the mystery of her cousin's violent past, while another 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 each other.
Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, which received the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. It was a New York Times Notable Book, and was named a best book of 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the American Library Association. Kirstin is the recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the 2013 Narrative Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Narrative, Guernica, The Southern Review, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, and Willapa Bay AiR, as well as a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where she also taught as a Jones Lecturer. She’s been on the faculty in the M.F.A. programs at University of Michigan and Warren Wilson. She is an assistant professor at Princeton University.