The Miniature Wife
And Other Stories
By Manuel Gonzales
Riverhead Books, Hardcover, 9781594486043, 304pp.
Publication Date: January 10, 2013
List Price: $26.95*
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The eighteen stories of Manuel Gonzales's exhilarating first book render the fantastic commonplace and the ordinary extraordinary, in prose that thrums with energy and shimmers with beauty. In The Artist's Voice we meet one of the world's foremost composers, a man who speaks through his ears. A hijacked plane circles a city for twenty years in Pilot, Copilot, Writer. Sound can kill in The Sounds of Early Morning. And, in the title story, a man is at war with the wife he accidentally shrank. For these characters, the phenomenal isn t necessarily special but it's often dangerous.
In slightly fantastical settings, Gonzales illustrates very real guilt over small and large marital missteps, the intense desire for the reinvention of self, and the powerful urges we feel to defend and provide for the people we love. With wit and insight, these stories subvert our expectations and challenge us to look at our surroundings with fresh eyes. Brilliantly conceived, strikingly original, and told with the narrative instinct of a born storyteller, "The Miniature Wife "is an unforgettable debut.