Fiction. El Nido, New Mexico, is a place of addled brains, self-sabotage, comfortable confusion, and small-town secrets. At first, the darkly comic misadventures of the village's residents appear to be amusing anecdotes of rural life, but we gradually understand we are witnessing the challenges we all face: the struggle to find self-worth, the courage to hope, and the ability to accept life on its own terms. In El Nido, traditional values and roles prevail alongside an unwritten code of conduct, and idiosyncrasies reign supreme. Hilario Armenta dreams of being buried in a restored 1964 Impala; a daughter tries to avert disaster as her mother, a compulsive liar, creates one sticky situation after another; the town's only prostitute teaches others the value of human life; and having gone mad after losing her family in a horrific fire, Holding Woman becomes a mother to everyone. These are just a few of the unforgettable characters who emerge from "The Nest," all searching for safety, sanity, and sanctuary in a confusing world.
Kelley Jácquez grew up in a small town in New Mexico. After earning a master's degree in English, she served as adjunct faculty at several California colleges, writing and publishing short stories at the same time. She was awarded a Harper/Collins Fellowship in 1995 and was a finalist at the Utah Writers-at-Work conference in 1997. She then turned to journalism, eventually becoming managing editor of the Business Journal newspaper in Fresno. Her short stories have appeared in multiple literary magazines and two anthologies (Walking the Twilight II: Women Writers of the Southwest (1996) and Fantasmas: Supernatural Stories (2001)). Although she has lived in many places and now resides in Oregon, Jácquez still considers New Mexico home. Author City: CLATSKANIE, OR USA