Night at the Fiestas: Stories (Hardcover)

Night at the Fiestas: Stories Cover Image

Night at the Fiestas: Stories (Hardcover)

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Out of Print

Winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction


A New York Times Notable Book of 2015



Set in northern New Mexico, an astonishing, beautifully rendered debut about growing up in a land shaped by love, loss and violence.


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, winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. The recipient of a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation, she teaches at Princeton University and lives in New Jersey.
Product Details ISBN: 9780393242980
ISBN-10: 0393242986
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: March 23rd, 2015
Pages: 288
Language: English
Sparkling…features dreamers and schemers whose lives pulsate with wild hopes, hard luck, stunning secrets, and saving grace.
— Elle

Quade’s ability to depict an entire world within the limitations of a single story is reminiscent of Alice Munro… the final story …is an emotional tour de force.
— Publishers Weekly

Remarkable… In almost every story, Quade goes for vivid spectacle and theatrical plot twists… But Quade focuses just as intensely on the subtler customs, cruelties, kindnesses, and skewed alliances of precarious family life… If Quade ever yearned to escape her archaic Catholic heritage and redefine herself, let’s be glad she didn’t. Her vision has thrived on its fierce, flesh-conscious desire for transcendence.
— Ann Hulbert - The Atlantic

Fresh, funny…. A gifted storyteller with an eye for quirky, compelling detail…. A poised and polished debut.
— Jenny Shank - Dallas Morning News

[Lives] up to even the loftiest of expectations.
— Bustle (Spring Break Recommended Read)

It's become cliché to say that a writer's short stories have the weight of novels, but in Kirstin's case it happens to be true. Her New Mexico is a crucible where individual desire is forged, lost, and reconstituted amid a backdrop of colliding histories and cultures. The result is as close to flesh and blood as black ink on white paper can come. She is a story writer of searing vision.
— Anthony Marra

Kirstin Valdez Quade is a fantastic writer, both stylish and sagacious. The stories here are taut and tense, while at the same time morally complicated, which is to say they cut sharp and they cut deep. Night at the Fiestas is a book of extraordinary virtuosity.

— Justin Torres

A stunning debut. With unflinching honesty and relentless compassion, Kirstin Valdez Quade conjures characters that are uncannily alive. Vibrant, incisive, and wickedly funny, Night at the Fiestas announces the arrival of a fiercely original new voice.

— Jennifer duBois

A debut collection filled with stories that read like classics (reminiscent of the work of Alice Munro or Flannery O'Connor), by a young author who writes with the patient, implacable wisdom of time.
— Peter Ho Davies

Kirstin Valdez Quade is a writer of extraordinary perception, a sharp-eyed truth-teller who renders her characters and the landscapes they inhabit with exquisite care. Each of these marvelous stories illuminates the messy, tender, unexplored borderland inside us all where our finest virtues bleed into our worst faults. A brilliant debut.
— Maggie Shipstead

Coverage from NPR

THE SANTA FE LITERARY FESTIVAL

Celebrating the power of story, the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival will be an unforgettable weekend dedicated to a shared love and language of ideas. Collected Works Bookstore is thrilled to be the official bookstore of the Festival. 

Bestselling, prizewinning authors and literary legends like Margaret Atwood, Joy Harjo, Colson Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros, John Grisham, amongst others, will headline the festival, discussing their work with readings and book signings that set the stage for further inspired conversations.

NOTE: If you purchase a festival event ticket that is INCLUSIVE of the author's book, you will receive that book upon check-in for your event at the festival.

To order books by festival authors directly from CW, see below. Collected Works will be carrying a wide selection of books by all participating authors available for online pre-order and at the on-site festival bookstore May 20-23.

Purchase your tickets from the SF Literary Festival website here.

Purchase your books by festival authors directly from CW below:

Margaret Atwood     Freddie Bitsoie     Sandra Cisneros

Lynn Cline     William deBuys     Ashley Ford

John Grisham     Roshi Joan Halifax     Joy Harjo

Anne Hillerman     Cheryl Alters Jamison     Craig Johnson

Asma Khan     Phil Klay      Jon Krakauer

Valeria Luiselli     Deborah Madison      Emily St. John Mandel

George R. R. Martin      James McGrath Morris     Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co. 

Carmella Padilla     Douglas Preston     Kirstin Valdez Quade

Bob Shacochis     Henry Shukman     Hampton Sides

Bryant Terry     Darryl Lorenzo Wellington     Colson Whitehead

Don Winslow     Lawrence Wright