The Miniature Wife by Manuel Gonzales
and Other Stories

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The impact of these stories can be tempered by Gonzales’ ironic distance, but the intelligence and versatility of his writing suggests he could, and perhaps should, take it to darker, longer places.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

In the tradition of George Saunders and Aimee Bender, an exuberantly imagined debut that chronicles an ordinary world marked by unusual phenomena.

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.
 

About Manuel Gonzales

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MANUEL GONZALES is a graduate of the Columbia University graduate creative writing program. He has published fiction and nonfiction in Open City, Fence, One Story, Esquire, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, and The Believer. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and two children.
 
Published January 10, 2013 by Riverhead Books. 321 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Miniature Wife
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by AIMEE BENDER on Mar 22 2013

Like the zombie tale, these stories often center on a narrator who feels himself on the outskirts of things, a man who can be stoic but is surrounded by a certain amount of chaos.

Read Full Review of The Miniature Wife: and Other... | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Charles Holdefer on Jan 10 2013

The overall effect of The Miniature Wife and Other Stories is uneven, but the better stories are intriguing.

Read Full Review of The Miniature Wife: and Other... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Feb 01 2013

The impact of these stories can be tempered by Gonzales’ ironic distance, but the intelligence and versatility of his writing suggests he could, and perhaps should, take it to darker, longer places.

Read Full Review of The Miniature Wife: and Other... | See more reviews from Toronto Star

Reader Rating for The Miniature Wife
77%

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