©2019 by Manuel Muñoz

The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue

Published in 2007, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue received a starred review from Kirkus, which called the collection “superbly grounded” and hailed the “fine storytelling that achieves universality while remaining rooted in a particular place time and place.”  In his second collection, Muñoz continued his exploration of rural California, presenting the small Valley communities as a complex interweaving of lives and unexpected crossings.  From a set of triplets with three distinct fates to a father who places his hopes—and his life savings—in the hands of a curandera, the stories reveal a community that is both embracing and unforgiving, harboring a truth about the nature of home:  you always live with its history.

 

With stories appearing in both Glimmer Train and Epoch, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue was shortlisted for the prestigious Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.  The collection also garnered Muñoz a Whiting Writer’s Award and he received his first O. Henry Award in 2009, for “Tell Him About Brother John.”

 

“Moving and tender. . . Muñoz writes elegantly and sympathetically. . .a softly glowing, melancholy beauty that. . .makes [his stories] universal.”

New York Times Book Review

“Ten superbly grounded stories. . . Fine storytelling that achieves universality while remaining rooted in a particular time and place.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Masterfully restrained. . .[his] large-hearted tenderness lends the stories their suggestive delicacy and power. . .the only magic found in this brilliant new book is Muñoz’s ability to turn the everyday dramas of ordinary people into high art.”

Virginia Quarterly Review