Fifteen years after his last collection, The Consequences was published by Graywolf Press in October 2022 in the United States, followed by The Indigo Press in the UK. It is slated to be published in Italian by Edizioni Black Coffee and in Turkish by Livera Yayinevi. Of the book's ten stories, two have already been honored with O. Henry Awards ("The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA" and "The Reason Is Because") and a third ("Anyone Can Do It") was recognized in Best American Short Stories 2019. The story "Compromisos" has been selected for Best American Short Stories 2023. The collection helped Manuel garner the 2023 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, which recognizes writers in midcareer.
The Consequences received early starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus and was a finalist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize, was longlisted for the Story Prize, and was chosen as one of the The Atlantic 10, the magazine's "most thought-provoking books of 2022." Set once again in the small towns of his beloved Central Valley, these stories confront the messy and sometimes violent realities navigated by his characters—straight and gay, immigrant and American-born, young and old—yet are tempered by moments of surprising, tender care.
"Muñoz’s prose is shining and hypnotic, and suffused with care and tenderness. This is one of the best short story collections to come around in recent years.”
―Michael Schaub, NPR.org, Best Books of 2022
“Hauntingly simple. . . . In these surprising, vivid stories, worries are deeply felt but not often spoken aloud, and obligation to kin and the need to survive outweigh much else.”―The Atlantic, “10 Most Thought-Provoking Books of 2022”
“This collection pushes the reader to appreciate life’s small moments of unexpected tenderness with fresh eyes.”―Brenda Peynado, New York Times Book Review
“The fact that a mind as fine and compassionate
as Muñoz’s exists lifts me up.”―George Saunders, Story Club
“Gay, straight, American-born or American-dreaming, the characters in this collection exist on the verge of oblivion, but the book out-Steinbecks Steinbeck
in its manifestation of the human in places we too rarely dare look.”
―Ernesto Mestre-Reed, Oprah Daily
“Simply put, Muñoz’s stories are as observant as they are revealing ― full of nuanced subtext and bracingly honest depictions of vulnerability and hope, love and regret, and everything in between. They deserve all the attention they can get.”
―Alexis Burling, San Francisco Chronicle
“Muñoz brings tenderness and immediacy to these fully realised stories of secrets and concealment, longings, vulnerability, and imperfect escape, creating an expansive and memorable world.”―David Hayden, The Guardian
“Muñoz’s luminous story collection . . . portrays a community of Mexican and Mexican American farmworkers in California’s Central Valley. . . . Their daily difficulties are tenderly laid bare. . . . Muñoz once worked in the same fields, as did his parents and siblings, and his empathetic stories convey a realistic sense of the toll such labor takes on bodies and minds.”―Becky Meloan, The Washington Post
“Manuel Muñoz’s third story collection solidifies his position as a master of the short story. The Consequences offers insights not just into relationships in families, neighborhoods, and communities, but among strangers who meet on a bus and come together to share the struggles of 21st-century immigrant life.”
―Jane Ciabattari, Lit Hub
“This packs a hell of a punch.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Nuanced, thoughtful, often moving stories.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Haunting, powerful, humble, precise, this collection shook my being.
Manuel Muñoz is a great American writer who sees with his heart―as great as
Juan Rulfo in writing about the poor. I wish I had written these stories.”
“These stories are evanescent, unforgettable, taking us deep into California’s
Central Valley, the homeland Manuel Muñoz has for years given to the world as a place of glimmering mystery, tule fog, and the yearning of his characters for love
and absolution. Each story reveals an entire life.
Muñoz is one of the best writers working in America.”
"Manuel Muñoz’s stories are melancholy, assured, and unforgettable.
Like a porch light at midnight, they strike a circle of stark dreamlike clarity around their characters, even as the darkness gathers in.”