“Olivas has the voice of both an ancient and modern storyteller. He is very deft and sure with language. The stories make a significant contribution to the Latinx community and beyond.”
—David Kranes, professor emeritus of English, University of Utah, and author of Keno Runner, Abracadabra, and Performance Art: Stories
“Daniel Olivas loves to tell stories and his writing reflects that joy. Every story is told with a wink and a smile, encouraging you to follow along for the ride. His humor not only brings levity to matters of life, death, and human treachery, but it is also a stylistic choice that Olivas has mastered. These stories aren’t so much about the interiority of its characters, but about the mythical, magical mundanity of our lives—Olivas’s style perfectly expresses this contradiction.”
—Maceo Montoya, associate professor of Chicano/a Studies, University of California, Davis, and author of Preparatory Notes for Future Masterpieces
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 10 members
This was my first book to read by this author but I cannot wait to read more! The characters stay with you long after you finish the book. Such a great story and fast read. Highly recommend!!!
TW: mentions of rape, domestic abuse, incest (though none of it is graphic or detailed) This is an enchanting collection of short stories and modern fables. I immediately felt immersed in the world that Olivas created, and despite the unique nature of each story they do seem to fit within the same fantastic universe. There were definitely some stories that appealed to me more than others, but regardless of my personal tastes I felt that each story was still strong and well-written, I will say that there were a few instances of dialogue that felt stilted, or unusual phrases repeated that brought me out of my reading flow, however, I don't feel that these were large enough issues to detract from the entirety of the collection. I truly enjoyed these stories and I would wholeheartedly recommend them to family and friends. I come from a Mexican-American household, which made it easy for me to relate to many of these characters and to feel at home in the world that Olivas built. However, I feel that this is a world that anyone could easily become immersed in, regardless of their cultural background.
Such a mystical collection of stories! I loved the humorous and whimsical approach to these Chicano stories. Olivas truly has a talent for creating vivid and immersive stories. They were the perfect length and I loved the feeling of wondering what's to come for these characters. Even the sadder stories had an underlying sense of hope. Magical realism is one of my favorite genres and this one checked all the boxes. There were a good variety of themes that I'm sure anyone could find stories to enjoy. Would recommend to any other lovers of magical realism and Latinx stories. I can't wait to read more from this author.
I loved this collection of fables and stories! Daniel Olivas has an easy writing style that pulls you in and brings worlds to life around you. The stories in this collection are magical, cautionary, reflective, and strident in turn. Olivas creates lush worlds using a spare writing style, which I find particularly compelling. The stories were well curated. They work together to describe Chicano and Mexican experience and culture, the mythology and complexity of religion, and the particular stress of the politics of the last six years. At times this collection felt like a novel. And I loved that.
This is a collection of short stories, and like all of these, there are hits and misses. There was definitely a lull in the middle, with many of the best stories at the beginning and end of the collection. The lull isnt because the stories are bad, but they are less stories and more vignettes. The still life of writing as it were. But there were many where I made my partner read specific stories because they were so good. This happened a lot more than most any short story collection Ive read in the past year or so. If you need plots and completion, this collection is not for you. If you are a Trumpster, you may not appreciate some of the stories, but need them more than anyone. Overall, a strong book that Id recommend to a pretty wide group. Thank you to Daniel Olivas, University of Nevada Press, and Netgalley for an advanced copy
I came for the title and stayed for the stories. So many great stories, mostly set in Mexico or Southern California. Magical realism and folklore, with short to long stories, I loved it. It made me think of my own abuela, who died over 20 years ago, a healer and beautiful soul. It is hard to summarize with so many stories, but my favorites are probably the longer stories: The Fabricator, After the Revolution, La Queenie. The collection ends strong with the last two stories Los Otros Coyotes (about immigration and family separation) and The Chicano in You, where Javier Zambrano is able to occupy the body of animals and humans. Thanks NetGalley for the arc of this book.