Orientation by Daniel Orozco

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Synopsis

Breakfast's boiled egg, the overhead hum of fluorescent lights, the midmorning coffee break--daily routines keep the world running. But when people are pushed--by a coworker's taunt, a face-to-face encounter with a woman in free fall from a bridge--cracks appear, revealing alienation, casual cruelty, madness, and above all a simultaneous hunger for and fear of the unknown.

Daniel Orozco leads the reader through the hidden lives and moral philosophies of bridge painters, men housebound by obesity, office temps, and warehouse workers. He reveals the secret pleasures of late-night supermarket trips for cookie binges, exceptional data entry, and an exiled dictator's occasional piss on the U.S. embassy. A love affair blooms between two officers in the impartially worded pages of a police blotter; a new employee's first-day office tour includes descriptions of other workers' most private thoughts and actions; during an earthquake, the consciousness of the entire state of California shakes free for examination.

Orientation introduces a writer at the height of his powers, whose work surely invites us to reassess the landscape of American fiction.

Orientation is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Short Story Collections title.

 

About Daniel Orozco

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Daniel Orozco's stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Essays, and the Pushcart Prize anthology, as well as in Harper's Magazine, Zoetrope: All-Story, McSweeney's, Ecotone, and Story-Quarterly. He was awarded a 2006 NEA Fellowship and was a finalist for a 2006 National Magazine Award. A former Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford, he teaches creative writing at the University of Idaho.
 
Published May 24, 2011 by Faber & Faber. 174 pages
Genres: Other, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Orientation

Kirkus Reviews

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A debut collection of stories that are both challenging and compelling, with narrative perspectives that suggest how difficult it is to know oneself (let alone anyone else).

May 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Orientation

Publishers Weekly

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Veteran short-fiction journeyman Orozco makes a long-overdue book debut with a rewarding collection infused with wonderfully wrought landscapes and telling glimpses of alienation. In the much antholog

Mar 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Orientation

The New York Times

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A sense of workplace alienation permeates this first story collection, which explores the limits of social interaction.

Jul 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Orientation

Publishers Weekly

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Veteran short-fiction journeyman Orozco makes a long-overdue book debut with a rewarding collection infused with wonderfully wrought landscapes and telling glimpses of alienation.

Mar 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Orientation

NPR

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NPR coverage of Orientation: And Other Stories by Daniel Orozco. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.

May 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Orientation

Bookmarks Magazine

In this fantastically original debut collection, Daniel Orozco leads the reader through the secret lives and moral philosophies of bridge painters, men housebound by obesity, office temps, and warehouse workers.

Jun 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Orientation

Fiction Writers Review

In 1995 the title story of this collection was selected for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories, and in 2005 “Officer’s Weep” was anthologized in Best American Mystery Stories.

Oct 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Orientation

Time Out Chicago

He is a serial killer, the one they call the Carpet Cutter, responsible for the mutilations around town.” Examples of office literature abound—Then We Came to the End, Personal Days—but Orozco’s short story “Orientation” may be the most distilled drop of drudgery.

Jun 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Orientation

Full Stop

She sleeps like a dead man.” After a father and son in “Hunger Tales” feast on leftovers following the funeral of the former’s wife and the latter’s mother, they “gazed for some time into the corner where the light had gone, cradling and stroking their englobed bellies – their comfort against the...

Jul 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Orientation

KQED Arts

Art Spiegelman's new book, Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps, collects comics from a six-decade.

Jul 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Orientation

Reader Rating for Orientation
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