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A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens by Raul Palma
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A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens

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A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens by Raul Palma
Hardcover $27.00
Oct 03, 2023 | ISBN 9780593472118

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“Metaphors that would be heavy-handed in another writer’s hands, Palma deploys with ease, swirling together ghosts, debt, colonialism, and guilt to create something greater…A masterful tale of demons, trauma, and debt.” Kirkus *starred*

“A captivating modern fable set in a vividly depicted Miami, rich with Latino and Afro-Latino culture, magic, and snark.” Library Journal *starred*

“Palma’s writing brings Miami to life and populates it with wonderfully unique supporting characters for a wholly entertaining debut.” Booklist

“Raul Palma’s novel, A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens, offers us hilarity and heartbreak in equal measure. With lush prose and an unerring eye, Palma chronicles the substrata of Miami—the human costs of immigration, poverty, debt, discrimination, and, yes, ghosts—beneath the city’s breezy, tropical surface. A pitch-perfect debut.” —Cristina García, author of Dreaming in Cuban and the forthcoming Vanishing Maps

“In this Faustian hell of a debut, the prose ripples with a mythical rhythm. Raul Palma has taken a splash of Oscar Hijuelos’ musical cadence, a dash of Alejo Carpentier’s magic realism, and along with his own considerable power to depict Miami lore, its humanism, its African rituals, its mysterious legends, its strong coffee—the end result is this suspenseful, stylistic, and sensory classic.”—Ernesto Quiñonez, author of Bodega Dreams

“Raul Palma’s A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens is the Florida novel of our moment. In a Miami filled with ghosts, curses, and personal loss, a Bolivian American babaláwo and his debt collector negotiate their immigrant histories and identities in relation to one another. Channeling Junot Díaz, Helena María Viramontes, and even Nathanial Hawthorne, Palma playfully limns gothic and supernatural literary traditions in order to offer a serious critique of a post-racial and post-ethnic American Dream.”—Kristiana Kahakauwila, author of This is Paradise

“The modern thriller, fantasy, magic, horror and the literary immigrant novel overlap in this at turns darkly funny, at turns  heartbreaking and always disruptive debut from Raul Palma. In the ways that Walter Mosley maps and curates Los Angeles and its underbelly, Palma maps Miami –  bringing the same intimacy and nuance to his cartography of place and character. Through elegant prose we follow Hugo Contreras on an epic quest for self and to resolve duty and love and redemption.”—Chris Abani, The Secret History of Las Vegas and The Virgin of Flames

“A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens is a sensitive and finely-wrought debut novel. Filled with currents of magic and sparked with sly infusions of humor, this deeply human tale of loss and grief makes room for the spiritual and the inexplicable, along with a gentle back beat of absurdism. These stories will resonate with any reader who knows what it is to straddle identities and traditions.”—Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Fencing with the King   

“Bright with humor and vulnerability, A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens invites us to plunge deep into the crushing darkness of indebtedness. Whether financial, spiritual, or romantic, past and present, Palma splendidly conjures demonic debts in every sense, crafting a story both thrilling and tragic. An affecting novel about the invisible demons that truly haunt us.”—Gerardo Sámano Córdova, author of Monstrilio

“Evocative and insightful, Raul Palma’s writing explores the soul-crushing burden of debt, both financial and emotional. A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens masquerades as a humorous supernatural tale while reflecting deeply on the immigrant experience and daring to question the unsustainable human costs of the illusory American dream.”—Rudy Ruiz, award-winning author of Valley of Shadows and The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez

“Raul Palma’s  Haunting in Hialeah Gardens subtly smashes the stereotypical portrayals of the largely unstoried global city of Miami. Part detective story, part prophecy, but all corazón, this novel probes the circuits of labor, debt and love that shape the lives of immigrants and non-immigrants in South Florida and the world they’re intimately connected to.”—Roberto Lovato, author of Unforgetting

A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens, Raul Palma’s searing first novel, is a provocative portrait of Miami and of the lengths to which one man will go to absolve himself of the debts of the dead. In gorgeous, careful writing, Palma mines grief and longing for their twin attendant humors and horrors. A compulsively readable debut!” —David James Poissant, author of Lake Life

“With his new novel A Haunting in Hialeah Gardens, Raul Palma continues to provide a fresh and vital perspective on the tensions within and around Miami’s immigrant communities, particularly between those who’ve “made it” and those who have yet to, and may never, do so. Palma’s nuanced representations of the physical, emotional, and ethical costs of both positions are deeply poignant, affecting, and tinged with a dark humor, reflecting the author’s expansive, not uncritical heart.”—Michael Mejia, author of Tokyo

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