RaveThe New York Times... both hilarious and harrowing. In nine unique stories, Stuck employs tenderness, humor and refreshing spontaneity to transform the everyday multiplicities of the Black experience into the extraordinary, showcasing truths that are common knowledge for many Black Americans and uncomfortable revelations for others ... To write a story like this demands courage, but to pull it off requires skill — both of which are abundant in Stuck’s work ... Whether he’s writing about a white man persuading a young Black man to be his wife’s lover or a Black Republican with vitiligo who goes on a cruise for \'unseen souls\', Stuck’s examination of Blackness panders to no one. His stories read as an authentic expression of his own viewpoint, which doesn’t perceive Black people as bodies whose only purpose is to orbit around racism, but as individuals who deserve to live for the sake of living ... Stuck brings nuance and empathy to each page, letting you know that he, like his characters, is traveling inward to find answers to questions of existence, rather than consulting some fictitious Encyclopedia Blacktannica ... This is a collection full of movement, of intelligent people traveling to new places or returning to old ones, leading to discoveries about themselves, about family and about the places they call home. Chris Stuck is a writer who has spent much time pondering the human condition, and we are the beneficiaries of his labor.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review[Gordo] gives the reader an unobstructed view into the lives of those who are often relegated to statistics and political talking points: people who come to the States for a better life for themselves and their offspring ... we enter Cortez’s world, where there is an irresistible mix of childlike desire, piercing observation and ridiculous, but relatable, shenanigans, including wrestling matches and the plundering of a porn collection, along with more serious matters ... the strength of Cortez’s work is that he lays out these stories without defining his characters by their worst actions, showing us people who are closer to reflections of ourselves than we think, even if they do not look like us, or come from the places we call home. And this is the book’s superpower: the cultivation of empathy.