How to Pacify a Distraught Infant

JOY IS AT best a fleeting feeling in which the women of How to Pacify a Distraught Infant barely have the time or opportunity to bask, yet it is with emphatic and enduring joy that I celebrate the publication of this book. Sanchez’s clear-eyed and crisp storytelling honors both her fictional women and their real-life counterparts, whose difficulties, though not unfamiliar, are far from obsolete. — CONCHITINA

CRUZTHE RICH TEXTURE of the stories in this collection owes much to the author’s keen eye for details; complex characters on the cusp of change— adulthood, marriage, loss, even a first airplane ride and first sex—that leads to a transformation, no matter how subtle; dialogues that ring true; consistent and well-handled points of view. In most of the stories, Sanchez uses a peripheral approach. There’s little exposition, no compulsion to explain. One who is unsuspecting and is reading only for pleasure will be jolted by “Inventories,” my personal favorite.

has written the kind of book that will provoke reams of scholarly papers on gender identity and marital politics—in other words, it’s clearly important and insightful, the well-crafted product of a mature sensibility that has managed to capture her generation’s domestic tribulations. But the best reason to read it is to welcome the long- overdue emergence of a remarkable literary talent who can write about pain—about itinerant and impermanent affections—with uncommon poignancy. — JOSÉ Y. DALISAY JR.