There Is a Rio Grande in Heaven: Stories (Hardcover)

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"Ruben Reyes Jr. has announced himself here in impressive fashion. This wonderful debut collection displays a virtuosic fictional range.” Jamel Brinkley

An electrifying debut story collection about Central American identity that spans past, present, and future worlds to reveal what happens when your life is no longer your own.

An ordinary man wakes one morning to discover he’s a famous reggaetón star. An aging abuela slowly morphs into a marionette puppet. A struggling academic discovers the horrifying cost of becoming a Self-Made Man.

In There Is a Rio Grande in Heaven, Ruben Reyes Jr. conjures strange dreamlike worlds to explore what we would do if we woke up one morning and our lives were unrecognizable. Boundaries between the past, present, and future are blurred. Menacing technology and unchecked bureaucracy cut through everyday life with uncanny dread. The characters, from mango farmers to popstars to ex-guerilla fighters to cyborgs, are forced to make uncomfortable choices—choices that not only mean life or death, but might also allow them to be heard in a world set on silencing the voices of Central Americans.

Blazing with heart, humor, and inimitable style, There Is a Rio Grande in Heaven subverts everything we think we know about migration and its consequences, capturing what it means to take up a new life—whether willfully or forced—with piercing and brilliant clarity. A gifted new storyteller and trailblazing stylist, Reyes not only transports to other worlds but alerts us to the heartache and injustice of our own.

About the Author


Ruben Reyes Jr. is the son of two Salvadoran immigrants and a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Harvard College. His writing has appeared in The Boston GlobeThe Washington PostLightspeed Magazine, and other publications. Originally from Southern California, he now lives in Brooklyn. There Is a Rio Grande in Heaven is his debut.

Praise For…


"Ruben Reyes Jr. has announced himself here in impressive fashion. This wonderful debut collection displays a virtuosic fictional range, often in the realm of what some would call the speculative, but in any case the depth of emotion, the insight into the lives of immigrants, and the potency and warmth of the writing in each story will leave you saying, This is real. This is true. When you read There is a Rio Grande in Heaven, your mind will be sent in many thrilling directions, and it will be powerfully deepened."  — Jamel Brinkley, author of Witness and A Lucky Man, finalist for the National Book Award

"In this rich, lively and imaginative collection, Reyes' presents the richness of the American Latine and immigrant experience, not as we are perceived, but as we know and recognize ourselves to be. In Reyes' hands, robots, alternative colonial histories, and dream sequences are more than storytelling devices. They are as real and vivid as the grief, abandoned love and homelands these characters are trying to reconcile with their American realities. These are stories to treasure and ponder, long after the last page has been turned."  — Xochitl Gonzalez, New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming

“As stunning as it is surreal, There is a Rio Grande in Heaven bravely exposes the circuitry of our society––as well as its myths and lies––in ways that are jolting, jarring, and joyful. Capturing migrations domestic, international, and even interplanetary, Ruben Reyes Jr.'s debut depicts the astronomic costs so many incur in attempting to start anew, as well as the faith required to believe that a better tomorrow is possible. Wildly funny, so damn creative, and inspiring all the feels, Reyes and his work are out of this world.” — Mateo Askaripour, New York Times bestselling author of Black Buck and This Great Hemisphere

"In There Is A Rio Grande In Heaven, Ruben Reyes Jr. has written Salvadorans into every single corner of the imagination. I have been waiting, dreaming of short stories like these—stories not bound to existing narratives, but stories where we Central Americans have agency. Fearless, imaginative, revolutionary. These stories will expand your vision of the world and will leave you forever changed. Ruben Reyes Jr. is a revelation." — Javier Zamora, New York Times bestselling author of Solito

"This beautiful collection announces the arrival of an important voice in U.S. fiction. Ruben Reyes Jr. is a wonder. With equal doses of surrealism, intelligence, and wit, these genre-bending stories redefine identities, and give birth to a powerful new imaginary." — Héctor Tobar, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Deep Down Dark and The Tattooed Soldier

 “Ruben Reyes Jr. is one of the most imaginative writers I've read in some time. A collection of beautiful and healing stories, There Is a Rio Grande in Heaven moves seamlessly through a time and space that confidently centers the plight of survival and imagines what could have been. Reyes Jr.'s writing is insightful and daring, full of heart and intelligence.” — Alejandro Varela, author of Town of Babylon, finalist for the National Book Award



Product Details
ISBN: 9780063336278
ISBN-10: 0063336278
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: August 6th, 2024
Pages: 240
Language: English