Fiction phenom Kirstin Valdez Quade returns with an intricate novel set in New Mexico.
On this week’s episode, author Kirstin Valdez Quade discusses The Five Wounds (Norton, April 6), the follow-up to her award-winning story collection, Night at the Fiestas, for which she was named a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize for best first book. She is a New Mexico native and an assistant professor at Princeton.
Kirkus on The Five Wounds: “As members of the Padilla family navigate their way through the harsh realities of life in northern New Mexico over the course of a year, they discover the depths of their faith in each other and in themselves.… With beautifully layered relationships and an honest yet profoundly empathetic picture of a rural community—where the families proudly trace their roots back to the Spanish conquistadors while struggling with poverty and a deadly drug epidemic—this novel is a brilliant meditation on love and redemption” (starred review).
Quade and host Megan Labrise talk about how The Five Wounds grew from one of the stories in Night at the Fiestas, whether short-story writing differs from novel writing, the historic Catholic mutual aid societies of New Mexico, how the state has long inspired both insiders and outsiders to make art, authors Quade admires, and much more.
And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with author Elliott Young about Forever Prisoners: How the United States Made the World’s Largest Immigrant Detention System (Oxford University Press, Jan. 12). In this powerful work of nonfiction, Young, a professor of history at Lewis & Clark College, provides “an altogether sobering look at a system of punishment founded on racial injustice and going strong.”
Then editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, Eric Liebetrau, and Laurie Muchnick join with their reading recommendations for the week.
I Sang You Down From the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, illus. by Michaela Goade (Little, Brown)
Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians But Were Afraid To Ask (Young Readers Edition) by Anton Treuer (Levine Querido)
Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho (Flatiron Books)
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf)
Also mentioned in this episode:
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America From 1890 to the Present by David Treuer (Riverhead)
Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life by David Treuer (Atlantic Monthly)
The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Personby Frederick Joseph (Candlewick)
“Trying” (TV series), Season One
Thanks to our advertisers this week:
Aberrant Behavior by Jim Lively
Meal and a Spiel by Elana Horwich
Patients, Patience, and the Talking Cure by Mary Davis
Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.