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Fado And Other Stories (Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize) Hardcover – October 2, 1997


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Fado And Other Stories (Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize) + Mariana + Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories (Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction)
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Product Details

  • Series: Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize
  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (October 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822940515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822940517
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,155,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Vaz, the winner of this year's Drue Heinz Literature Prize, believes that "stories keep us alive." Perhaps that is what gives the 12 tales in this work such urgency. Old world meets new as the book explores Portuguese American identity in places as disparate as Hawaii, California, and the Azores. "In My Hunt for King Sebastiao," Dean travels from America to Portugal to settle some family business. Along the way, he uncovers a number of long-hidden secrets. While despair is tempting, Dean refuses to give in to anger or depression. "Hope," he discovers, "is the most supreme form of defiance." Similarly, in "Undressing the Vanity Dolls," Reginald learns to let go of resentment so he can enjoy the company of a former mentor. Life's lessons are woven into many of these stories, but Vaz's touch is always light, suffused with reverence for whimsy and weird, serendipitous occurrences. Encounters with magic?sights, sensations, and sounds that cannot be rationally explained?give the book an unusual spark. Throughout, things of the spirit collide with material reality and tantalize those in their orbit, with satisfying results.?Eleanor J. Bader, New Sch. for Social Research, New York
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Inspired by the lyric fantastic, a first fiction collection from novelist Vaz (Saudade, 1994), this year's winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Vaz's tales rely often on the yeast of her songlike love for language, which can transform her prose, influenced by magic realism, into poetry. ``Sex happens,'' she writes in the title piece, ``the way a pearl is formed. It begins with a grain or parasitic worm that itches in the soft lining until the entire animal buckles around it.'' In ``Island Fever,'' Vaz displays her strong visual sense and her wit: ``The mouths in the crowd, including his wife's, were chattering like bivalve castanets.'' These 12 linked stories about Portuguese ‚migr‚s from the Azores also rely on the force of improbable events to propel them forward. In ``The Remains of Princess Kaiulani's Garden,'' a laundress with extraordinary powers at the ironing board positively affects the lives of her customers: ``One old lady put on a skirt ironed by Elena and could do cartwheels. . . . A priest who had sent in his collars to be starched preached the best sermon of his life.'' Vaz can induce in a reader a fine and effusive rapture when her characters, inflamed, are carried skyward by their emotions. ``Math Bending Into Angels,'' in this vein, shows how love and an incurable spiritual hunger lead a woman to turn into an otherworldly sprite. In other tales dealing with more worldly matters, the writer's whimsy sometimes fails to persuade: an ease in Vaz's luscious lyricism can, in an earthly context, appear too pretty; with her head turned by metaphor, the author comes across as unable to take reality seriously. At such times, she lacks conviction in the primal logic of an unreasonable fate that guides the major magic realists. She's also more sentimental than they, and her language can seem contrived, lacking a fundamental emotional connection with the lives she describes. Still, when the theme of a story is in balance with its style, the result is elating. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book really puts Katherine Vaz at a new level.Her other books were great also but Fado really gripped me and made me think about life. Would be of benefit to all
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ting on May 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
wow, Vaz never ceases to amaze me. her writing is so powerful, these stories made me laugh and cry and and dance in the rain and talk to purple and plant orchids and and my god, it is endless! Vaz has the amazing ability to express her thoughts in the fewest words possible, making the stories all the more breathtaking. these stories capture life and humanity in its rawest, most honest form. love, truth, passion, longing, joy, sacrafice, these stories are the embodiment of every hidden aspect of YOU that you'll never know exisited until you read these words of an angel...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't usually write book reviews, but after reading Our Lady of the Artichokes and other Stories, I followed with this. I took my sweet time, savoring the stories and asking myself why the hell were't these stories appearing in Harper's or the New Yorker, or Atlantic? They deserve a much wider audience. And there is no one who writes for those or any other magazines whose works bests Vaz's. If only for "My Hunt for King Sebastiao," "Fado," "The Remains of Princess Kaiulani's Garden," & "How to Grow Orchids Without Grounds: A Manual," alone this collection would be amazing. But here is offered so much more: "Original Sin," "The Journey of the Eyeball," "Add Blue to Make White Whiter," etc. These stories are a rich blend of culture and history, exquisitely written, with love and humor, a touch of sadness, and a good dose of magic. As I said, more people should be reading these stories, which are among the very best that are currently being written and published. If Raymond Chandler's words held true for the book he criticized, saying "it has everything in it that makes literature -- except verve, wit, gusto, music, and magic..." Katherine Vaz's stories thankfully do have all that!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Was introduced to Fado while living in the Azores. This is a great read on the topic! Thoroughly enjoyed it!
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