Fiction. In this new collection of flash fiction, Veronica Montes conducts an intimate exploration of the interior lives of eight women searching for voice and agency. Sometimes bewildered by their circumstances, sometimes determined to change them, Montes' characters are driven by desire and despair and a thirst for transformation. They are silenced; they are enraged.
Throughout the course of these eight poignant glimpses, a woman contemplates her aging body through the whorls of her hair. A routine morning doing laundry inspires viral and violent dreams. A grieving daughter undertakes a difficult journey. A married couple fails to communicate, while a young couple learns the language of sex. Sun rises on a bed of broken glass. Montes' spare, compelling prose magnifies the power that small moments hold as we make and re-make our notions of self. This is an unflinching new collection from a rising voice in fiction.
These eight short stories, ranging from a paragraph to several pages, are gorgeous, poetic, breathtaking. I am held spellbound by the luminosity of Veronica Montes' prose, the twists she creates from myths and fairy tales. In the opening story, it is a Medusa-like heroine who is afraid to look you in the eye 'as if you are made of sunlight.' In 'Madaling Araw, ' a young woman follows her mother's ancient remedy and, with native plants, treats the small welts (on her body) that 'rose to the surface, like weeds after a rainfall.' In 'The 38 Geary Express, ' a stalker goes after a modern-day Rapunzel who carries an ATM card and dines at KFC. Story after story are women-flawed, fierce, vulnerable, sensual. I cannot wait to read more of her magical music.-R. Zamora Linmark
My heart broke and soared reading Veronica Montes' exquisite, brutal, and dazzling THE CONQUERED SITS AT THE BUS STOP, WAITING. Each story gem is a microcosm, a crystal tear, a dagger-unswerving and radiant.-Lillian Howan
THE CONQUERED SITS AT THE BUS STOP, WAITING glides unflinchingly through themes that concern us all-desire, love, family, aging, loss, and human connection. Montes deftly strings these stories together like deep-sea pearls on a silken thread. With a gift for metaphor and precisely turned lines, she guides us with a sure yet stealthy hand until we come face-to-face with our own reflection. In this sparkling collection, she concocts out of homegrown wisdom, wit, and imagination eight singular narratives that heal and sustain while also uncovering our most elusive truths.-Angela Narciso Torres
About the Author
Veronica Montes was born in San Francisco and came of age in the fog and mist of Daly City, California, along with thousands of other Filipino kids who frequently appear, sometimes unbidden, in her short stories. After living in Vancouver, Canada, Washington, D.C., and Santa Barbara, California, she and her husband, Andrew Wadhams, settled back home in the San Francisco Bay Area to raise their three daughters.