February 20, 2024
7:30 pm (Eastern Time)

Jesuit Media Lab Book Club: Kirstin Valdez Quade on “The Five Wounds”

February 20, 2024
7:30 pm ET

Join us for a live conversation with acclaimed author Kirstin Valdez Quade on her debut novel.

It’s Holy Week in the small town of Las Penas, New Mexico, and thirty-three-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday procession. He is preparing feverishly for this role when his fifteen-year-old daughter Angel shows up pregnant on his doorstep and disrupts his plans for personal redemption. With weeks to go until her due date, tough, ebullient Angel has fled her mother’s house, setting her life on a startling new path.

Vivid, tender, funny, and beautifully rendered, “The Five Wounds” spans the baby’s first year as five generations of the Padilla family converge: Amadeo’s mother, Yolanda, reeling from a recent discovery; Angel’s mother, Marissa, whom Angel isn’t speaking to; and disapproving Tíve, Yolanda’s uncle and keeper of the family’s history. Each brings expectations that Amadeo, who often solves his problems with a beer in his hand, doesn’t think he can live up to.

“The Five Wounds” is a miraculous debut novel from a writer whose stories have been hailed as “legitimate masterpieces” (New York Times). Kirstin Valdez Quade conjures characters that will linger long after the final page, bringing to life their struggles to parent children they may not be equipped to save.

“Masterly…Quade has created a world bristling with compassion and humanity. The characters and the challenges they face are wholly realized and moving; their journeys span a wide spectrum of emotion and it is impossible not to root for [them].” ―Alexandra Chang, New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of “The Five Wounds,” winner of the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence, the Aspen Words Literary Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award and the Maya Angelou Book Award. “The Five Wounds” was named a Best Book of 2021 by NPR, PBS News Hour, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Booklist, and Book Riot.

Kirstin’s story collection, “Night at the Fiestas,” won the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation, and was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. It was named a New York Times Notable Book and a best book of 2015 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the American Library Association. Kirstin is the recipient of a Lannan Fellowship, the John Guare Writer’s Fund Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, The New York Times and elsewhere. She is an Associate Professor at Stanford University.