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The Book of Want: A Novel (Camino del Sol ) Cover Image

The Book of Want: A Novel (Camino del Sol ) (Paperback)

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When Moses descended Mount Sinai carrying the Ten Commandments, he never could have foreseen how one family in Los Angeles in the early twenty-first century would struggle to live by them.

Conchita, a voluptuous, headstrong single woman of a certain age, sees nothing wrong with enjoying the company of handsome—and usually much younger—men . . . that is, until she encounters a widower with unusual gifts and begins to think about what she really wants out of life.

Julieta, Conchita’s younger sister, walks a more traditional path, but she and her husband each harbor secrets that could change their marriage and their lives forever. Their twin sons, both in college, struggle to find fulfillment. Mateo refuses to let anyone stand in the way of his happiness, while Rolando grapples with his sexuality and the family’s expectations. And from time to time, Belén, the family’s late matriarch, pays a visit to advise, scold, or cajole her hapless descendants.

A delightful family tapestry woven with the threads of all those whose lives are touched by Conchita, The Book of Want is an enchanting blend of social and magical realism that tells a charming story about what it means to be fully human.

About the Author

Daniel A. Olivas is the author of five books, including Anywhere But L.A. and Devil Talk. He is also the editor of Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, which collects sixty years of Los Angeles fiction from Latino/a writers. Olivas received a BA in English literature from Stanford University and a JD from the University of California at Los Angeles. Since 1990 he has practiced law with the California Department of Justice Public Rights Division.

Praise For…

“The lives of a Mexican-American family living in Los Angeles unfold in surprising, sometimes delightful ways in Olivas’s debut novel (after story collection Anywhere But L.A.). Olivas’s approach to the novel resembles his approach to the collection; he resists following characters with regularity or predictability . . . Olivas’s strands work their discreet charm.”—Publishers Weekly

“Olivas’s brand of magical realism has a sense of humor about itself, and he succeeds in harnessing the genre’s unique ability to expose what’s beneath the surface.”—Los Angeles Magazine

“A fantastic short novel chronicling the lives of a family just like any other gabacho clan—except it's Mexican and its matriarch visits from the other side.”—Gustavo Arellano, author of ¡Ask a Mexican! column

“Olivas achieves liftoff … I want more Want.”—Tucson Weekly

“Carefully crafted and provocative, The Book of Want is nothing less than a celebration of human desire in all its forms.”—Dark Sky Magazine

Product Details
ISBN: 9780816528998
ISBN-10: 0816528993
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication Date: April 15th, 2011
Pages: 144
Language: English
Series: Camino del Sol