Fado and Other Stories
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About the Author
Katherine Vaz is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Saudade, and her second novel, Mariana, has been published in six different languages. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including TriQuarterly, Nimrod, Gettysburg Review, and the American Voice. She is associate professor of English at the University of California, Davis.
"Each story in Fado and Other Stories becomes a fado, the literary equivalent of a Portuguese song "of fate," an evocation of "a kind of possession by love and sadness." Fierce desire--be it for revenge, love or quietude--impels Vaz's characters, all of whom share Portuguese ancestry . . . Fado and Other Stories is a celebration of the drama of individual lives. With inventive lyricism, it explores the notion of a "grand event allotted to each person--only one, with every other major event a consequence of that."
--New York Times Book Review
"Vaz creates life with words that can be as fierce as a whip while remaining sensitive to her characters' yearnings, which beat like Portuguese fados: songs of fate and longing. Vaz's ability to marry reality to the imaginative world of her characters . . . allows her to weave together the mysteries of love, family, nature, religion and loss. . . . Vaz fearlessly writes about the vacuums in her characters' lives. She balances this with fantastical situations that question reality and are disturbingly funny."--Washington Post
"Fado and other Stories, in the end, rewards all leanings. It is like a heart-rending blues album by a splendid artist: The listener may not applaud every cut, but that doesn't spoil the glory of the voice."
"Vaz can induce in a reader a fine and effusive rapture when her characters, inflamed, are carried skyward by their emotions."
"Life's lessons are woven into many of these stories, but Vaz's touch is always lights, suffused with reverence for whimsy and weird, serendipitous occurrences. Encounters with magic--sights, sensations, and sounds that cannot be explained give the book an unusual spark. Throughout, things of spirit collide with material reality and tantalize those in their orbit, with satisfying results."