PATRICIA GRACE KING
2017 NOVELLA PRIZE SELECTED BY BRIAN ROLEY
2017. ISBN 978-1-881163-62-6
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Martín Silva de Choc, childhood survivor of an army massacre during the Guatemalan civil war, and now a language school teacher in Guatemala City, falls in love with his American student, Abby, and follows her home to Chicago on a fiancé visa. Days before their wedding, however, Abby goes missing, and on a Halloween afternoon Martín embarks on a search that leads from the ghost strewn yards of Chicago’s North Side to the Lincoln Park Conservatory and ultimately back to his violent past. A story about repressed secrets and the limits of love, Day of All Saint traces the effects of historical trauma on individual lives.
Reviews & Such
- King writes a story within a story within a story, and she does so in lyrical language with details so vivid that the reader cannot help but enter the picture she paints. The Florida Review, February 2019.
- Finalist for the 2017 Balcones Fiction Prize
- Reviewed in Heavy Feather Review, January 2018: “King’s brevity reaches to encompass the edges of love, war, and impermanence in one graceful, striking sweep. Though one might be skeptical of the ability to address such weighted themes in so few pages, King proves that minimalism amplifies trauma, and even honors it in ways that expounding cannot.”
- Durham University’s Department of English Studies interviewed Patricia Grace King about the novella
- The Friends of Writers blog published an excerpt from Day of All Saints, Nov 12, 2017
- Patricia Grace King’s debut novella Day of All Saints succeeds not only in brevity of form but is also so well written, so compassionate in portraying survival in such violent times that it is hard to put down. So much can be said about the Guatemalan civil war and how it impacted both the public and private spheres, and King reminds us anew with such lyricism, that the reader can withstand the brutality. She brings the story much closer to home, Chicago, much closer to love, and the main protagonist Martín must overcome the trauma and guilt of survival. Love may not be successful for him, but at least it’s a beginning and King is asking us: if we can’t call that beginning a small act of redemption, then what is?
—Helena María Viramontes, author of Their Dogs Came with Them and Under the Feet of Jesus
- A haunted hero. His missing bride. Ghosts everywhere. In this elegantly-structured, suspenseful, and affecting novella, Patricia Grace King displays her great gifts as a writer: sharp prose, vivid setting across two cultures, and a profound empathy for the dispossessed, the forgotten, and the dreamers.
—Christopher Castellani, author of All This Talk of Love
- Day of All Saints is a gripping and beautifully written tale of war and its aftermath. In this
searing story, Patricia Grace King examines not only the human toll of Guatemala’s civil war, but also the costs of facing—and of failing to face—the ghosts that haunt us.
—Judith Claire Mitchell, author of A Reunion of Ghosts and The Last Day of the War
- In Day of All Saints Patricia Grace King has crafted a heartbreaking, sensual tale, steeped in the rich details and characters of Guatemala, a part of the world rarely visited in North American writing.—Patricia Henley, author of Other Heartbreaks: stories and Hummingbird House
About the Author
Patricia Grace King grew up in North Carolina and has since lived in Atlanta, Chicago, and Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, as well as in Spain, Guatemala, and the UK. She is the author of two chapbooks, Rubia (The Florida Review) and The Death of Carrie Bradshaw (Kore Press); her short stories have been published by Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Narrative Magazine, and Nimrod. She was the 2013-2014 Carol Houck Smith Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and now lives in Durham, England, where she is finishing a novel as well as a story collection.