Novelist and short-story writer Manuel Gonzales is coming to Gonzaga on Wednesday, January 27th. He’ll be reading at the Cataldo Globe Room at 7:30 as part of the Gonzaga Visiting Writers Series. I’ve already marked my calendar, and you ought to mark yours too.
Gonzales used to co-own the Clarksville Pie Company in Austin, Texas, but now he writes books and teaches creative writing at the University of Kentucky. His first book, The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, was published last year by Riverhead Books to critical acclaim. Ben Marcus described his stories “funny and unforgettable” and, in her New York Times review, Aimee Bender called them “lucid and confident.” Wells Tower compared him to Borges and, in Esquire, Benjamin Percy compared him to none other than Aimee Bender. The book is full of the fantastical─ zombies and unicorns and werewolves and whatnot. The title story is about a man who, accidentally but literally, miniaturizes his wife.
Gonzales’ upcoming novel, The Regional Office is Under Attack!, finds the author exploring similarly magical territory. The book, due in April, takes place “in a world beset by amassing forces of darkness.” The regional office, which employs superpowered female assassins to protect the world from destruction, is under attack by one of its own. I’m excited to see what Mr. Gonzales can do with this ostensibly schlocky premise—the book has already been praised by the wonderful Kelly Link and Karen Russell; Spokane’s own Jess Walter called the book “a wry and propulsive work of inventive fiction.” It all makes me wish I still worked at a bookstore and could get my hands on an advance copy, but alas.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to the reading January 27th and hearing him read from it. Hope to see you there, whoever you are.
–by Andrew Moreno