Those People Behind Us

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Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
She Writes Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 1.1 inches | 0.88 pounds

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About the Author
Mary Camarillo's award-winning debut novel, The Lockhart Women, was published in June 2021 by She Writes Press. Her poems and short fiction have appeared in publications such as TAB Journal, 166 Palms, Sonora Review, and The Ear. Mary writes about living in Southern California, a place she's called home for more than fifty-five years and is still trying to understand. She had a long career with the postal service, which might be genetic--both her grandfathers were railway mail clerks. She sorted mail, sold stamps, worked in the accounting office, and went to night school, eventually earning a degree in business administration, a CPA license, and a Certificate in Internal Auditing. She currently serves on the advisory boards of Citric Acid, An Orange County Online Literary Arts Quarterly, and LibroMobile, An Arts Cooperative and Bookstore. Mary lives with her husband who plays ukulele, and their terrorist cat Riley, who makes frequent appearances on Instagram in Huntington Beach, California.
2023 American Fiction Awards Finalist in General Fiction
2023 Hawthorne Prize Shortlist

"Those People Behind Us is set in a politically charged time and place, but the citizens of the place - flawed, conflicted, mortal-reminded me of the citizens of another time and place, the characters of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. Both sets of characters are equally bound together by time and place and the loneliness that is at the center of so many American lives. . . . They share your flaws, your sins, your secrets, your mortality. Camarillo has created what is by now a rarity, fully rounded characters that invoke what Flannery O'Connor called 'the mystery of personality.' These characters will stay with you long after you've finished the book. Like a Wellington Beach sunburn or some grains of sand in an oyster."
--Lou Matthews, author of Shaky Town and LA Breakdown

" . . . . we all need to step back from our prejudices and assumptions, take a deep breath, and realize that we are all in this together . . . . mesmerizing . . . . A worthwhile read with characters who grapple with timely political conundrums."

--Kirkus Reviews

"The stakes are high and the ground unstable in the fictional town of Wellington Beach where even a real estate agent's seemingly innocuous pamphlets are loaded with undercurrents of significance and menace. Yet Camarillo's novel offers hope, and, because of her facility with characters, I found myself unabashedly rooting for the fallible and suffering Wellington community."

--Victoria Patterson, author of The Secret Habit of Sorrow and The Little Brother

"Camarillo has crafted another winner! Those People Behind Us is a beautiful, propulsive masterwork of empathy."
--J. Ryan Stradal, author of New York Times bestseller Kitchens of the Great Midwest

"A gripping read that captures the pettiness, complexity, and surprising tenderness of living in a suburban environment."
--Sara Flannery Murphy, author of Girl One and The Wonder State

"Fans of Liane Moriarty will savor the raw suspense and mystery Camarillo has skillfully woven. Juxtaposed against the bright and sunny Southern California sky, this multigenerational tale takes a deep dive into the minds and motivations of a seemingly harmless neighborhood as it strips back each dark and complicated layer, piece by piece."
--Suzanne Simonetti, USA Today best-selling author of The Sound of Wings

"Thoughtful and riveting. In Those People Behind Us, Mary Camarillo trains an astute yet empathetic eye on the residents of one Southern California planned community in the year 2017, dissecting the mental and emotional cracks in our foundation at the brink of the Trump era."
--Shelley Blanton-Stroud, author of Copy Boy and TomBoy

"Peyton Place with a twist of Trump."
--Eduardo Santiago, author of Tomorrow They Will Kiss and Midnight Rhumba

"A fascinating and perceptive read about growth, acceptance, and understanding people different than yourself."
--Diana Wagman, author of Spontaneous and Extraordinary October

"As skillfully as Elizabeth Strout and Susan Straight, Mary Camarillo captures her diverse beach town community with such precision you feel you are eavesdropping on real people's lives, with all their dreams and disappointments, faults, and frailties. Though Camarillo touches on hot topics such as homelessness, low-income housing, racism, and political differences, she lets her characters expre