OUR LADY OF THE ARTICHOKES

lady artichoke.jpeg
Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize

"[A] collection of beautifully written short stories steeped in tragedy and religious mysticism...Vaz is a soulful writer who understands her protagonists' complex lives..."  
Publishers Weekly

The stories in this prize-winning collection evoke a complete world, one so richly imagined and finely realized that the stories themselves are not so much read as experienced. The world of these stories is Portuguese-American, redolent of incense and spices, resonant with ritual and prayer, immersed in the California culture of freeway and commerce. Laced with lyrical prose and vivid detail, acclaimed writer Katherine Vaz conjures a captivating blend of Old World heritage and New World culture to explore the links between families, friends, strangers, and their world.

From the threat of a serial killer as the background for a young girl’s first brush with death to the fallout of a modern-day visitation from the Virgin Mary; from an AIDS-stricken squatter refusing to vacate an empty Lisbon home to a mother’s yearlong struggle with the death of her synesthetic daughter, these deft stories make their world ours.

Praise for
OUR LADY OF THE ARTICHOKES

In Katherine Vaz’s new volume of short fiction, she demonstrates brilliantly that rare quality of truly fine writing—a deeply profound knowingness about the human condition. Our Lady of the Artichokes and Other Portuguese-American Stories will even more widely prove what is already clear to many: Katherine Vaz is a master of the short story.

ROBERT OLEN BUTLER

author of Pulitzer Prize–winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain