What You See in the Dark
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The long-awaited first novel by the award-winning author of two impressive story collections explores the sinister side of desire in Bakersfield, California, circa 1959, when a famous director arrives to scout locations for a film about madness and murder at a roadside motel. Unfolding in much the same way that Hitchcock made Psycho—frame by frame, in pans, zooms, and close-ups—Mun~oz’s re-creation of a vanished era takes the reader into places no camera can go, venturing into the characters’ private thoughts, petty jealousies, and unrealized dreams. The result is a work of stunning originality.
Praise For What You See in the Dark…
“‘I want to remind readers that books are better at haunting us than movies are,’ Mun~oz has said of his ambitions for What You see in the Dark. ‘Haunting’ is only the beginning of what his fine debut novel accomplishes. [It] strikes emotional chords so deep and with such precision, it almost makes you believe you’ve discovered a new art form.” —The Austin Chronicle
“The making of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho would seem out of place in a serious literary novel about small-town California . . . [But] Manuel Mun~oz pulls off this strange juxtaposition with stunning success . . . An audacious debut novel.” —The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Eerily cinematic.” —O: The Oprah Magazine
“One of the cleverest suspense conceits I’ve encountered in a long time: two young lovers become entwined in a doomed affair, while, at the same time, Hitchcock and his minions begin setting up their equipment in sleepy bakersfield . . . This atmospheric tale of twisted minds and small-town murder would’ve put a demented gleam in The Master’s eye.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR.org
“[A] stellar first novel . . . with a subtlety worthy of Hitchcock himself.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Algonquin Books, 9781565125339, 272pp.
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
About the Author
Manuel Mun~oz’s short story collection, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship and the prestigious Whiting Award, and is currently teaching creative writing at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
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