The House of Order ($15 – Click to Order, ISBN: 978-1-937536-16-9, LCCN: 2011945742, 6X9”, 106pp): the first collection of composite stories by John Paul Jaramillo, presents a stark vision of American childhood and family. Set in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico, Manito’s only access to his lost family’s story is his uncle, the unreliable Neto Ortiz. Manito sorts family truth from legend as broken as the steel industry and the rusting vehicles that line Spruce Street.
John Paul Jaramillo grew up in Southern Colorado but now lives, writes and teaches in Springfield, Illinois. He earned his MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Oregon State University and, currently, holds the position of Associate Professor of English in the Arts and Humanities Department of Lincoln Land Community College.
“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 Cornell, author of Departures