Jaramillo - Cover - Final.indd2013 International Latino Book Award Finalist–The Mariposa Award–Best First Book–Fiction

Award Winning Author logo 2013

“If you like writing that is unpredictable and makes you think, this collection is for you.  These short stories have characters with complex, sometimes depressing, but always fascinating lives.” —Latino Stories.com 2013 Top Ten “New” Latino Authors to Watch (and Read)

“Raw and highly emotional at times, Jaramillo’s stories give a realistic look in to the lives of his characters as he presents short vignettes that hint at a deeper family saga. His style is easy to read and his concise wording retains a surprising amount of detail. All in all, The House of Order is a compelling set of stories and should Jaramillo continue to present such fantastic storytelling, there is no doubt he will gain many new readers.” —San Francisco Book Review

“Jaramillo is writing about working in Southern Colorado farm fields, driving and drinking beer and smoking pot; visiting family members in the state penitentiary; about tattooed pregnant girls, dirty kids in laundromats and their desperate mothers–and the pain-filled list goes on, back through several decades. What saves these stories is the grace in which they are written.”–Mary Jean Porter, Chieftain.com

“Each story in Jaramillo’s collection stands alone, but together they make a powerful combination, with vivid descriptions, realistic characters, and strong emotions that will make readers cry, laugh, cringe and hope.” —Latina Book Club

The House of Order is an enticing read that shouldn’t be overlooked for those looking for a down to earth short fiction collection.” —Midwest Book Review

“These stories find John Paul Jaramillo hitting his stride as an acute observer and chronicler of hard and valuable lives. The writing conveys great warmth and understanding. This is a career to watch.” —Tracy Daugherty, author of One Day the Wind Changed

“Besides the razor-sharp writing which brings even those characters whom we meet only briefly vividly and memorably to life, what compelled me was my affection and concern for the narrator, who sets out to record the stories of his elders, and through them, to understand the forces that have shaped and directed his own experience. The result is a collection of stories that holds together like a shattered vessel, whose fragments have been gathered and expertly glued. Manito himself, battered by drink and drugs and the abuses of combat, barely holds together sometimes — but even at his lowest and darkest, the impulse remains in him to comfort and assist. It’s this that saves him, and that sets this collection apart — and above, in my opinion — less forgiving depictions of people struggling to take control of their lives.” —Jennifer C. Cornell, author of Departures

Last summer I had the chance to sit in a workshop with Amy Hempel discussing minimalism and Denis Johnson, among other writers. I remember folks in the workshop were quoting lines from Johnson’s work. Mine was this: “Sunset had two minutes to live.” And Amy Hempel’s was: “Folks walk around Beverly Hills with their head’s blown off with money.”

This summer finally had some time this week to get through the audiobook version of Jesus’ Son. Yes, I am a nerd and listen with ear buds and follow along in the book. I like to listen to Will Patton–who was a character in the film version of Jesus’ Son not too long ago by the way–reading Johnson’s work. What can I say about this achingly beautiful and minimalist book. I have to reread this book every year. Every few months actually. Johnson follows in the Salinger Zen style of illuminating character and place in so few words. I chase this in everything I work on.