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The Five Wounds

2021
Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company

It’s Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans for personal redemption. With weeks to go until her due date, tough, ebullient Angel has fled her mother’s house, setting her life on a startling new path.

Vivid, tender, funny, and beautifully rendered, The Five Wounds spans the baby’s first year as five generations of the Padilla family converge: Amadeo’s mother, Yolanda, reeling from a recent discovery; Angel’s mother, Marissa, whom Angel isn’t speaking to; and disapproving Tíve, Yolanda’s uncle and keeper of the family’s history. Each brings expectations that Amadeo, who often solves his problems with a beer in his hand, doesn’t think he can live up to.

The Five Wounds is a miraculous debut novel from a writer whose stories have been hailed as “legitimate masterpieces” (New York Times). Kirstin Valdez Quade conjures characters that will linger long after the final page, bringing to life their struggles to parent children they may not be equipped to save.

About the Author

Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of The Five Wounds, which won the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the Carnegie Medal of Excellence, the Aspen Words Prize, the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award, and the Maya Angelou Book Award. She was a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree for her story collection, Night at the Fiestas, which won the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. It was named a New York Times Notable Book and a best book of 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the American Library Association. Kirstin is the recipient of the John Guare Writer’s Fund Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford. Her work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Best American Short StoriesThe O. Henry Prize StoriesThe New York Times, and elsewhere.