How Winter Began


How Winter Began


Joy Castro

Flyover Fiction Series

210 pages


October 2015


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2015


$19.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

October 2015


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Iréne gives the wealthy businessmen what they want, diving headfirst into the filthy river, thinking only of providing for her baby daughter, Marisa, as the men salivate over her soaked body emerging onto the bank. A young boy tries to befriend the reticent younger sister of the town’s cruelest bully, only to discover the family betrayal behind her quiet countenance. Josefa, a young bride, is executed for murdering the man who raped her. Joy Castro’s How Winter Began traces these and other characters as they seek compassion from each other and themselves.

Thematically linked by the lives of women, especially Latinas, and their experiences of poverty and violence in a white-dominated, wealth-obsessed culture, How Winter Began is a delicately wrought collection of stories. The question at the heart of this riveting book is how or whether to trust one another after the rupture of betrayal.

Author Bio

Joy Castro is a professor of both English and ethnic studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is the author of two thrillers: Hell or High Water, winner of the 2013 Nebraska Book Award and the National Latino Book Club’s book of the month selection; and Nearer Home. She is also the author of such acclaimed nonfiction as Island of Bones: Essays and The Truth Book: A Memoir, both published by the University of Nebraska Press.


"To read Joy Castro's stories is to witness the world as beautiful and horrible, light and dark, and to see people who are both lovely and ugly. Joy Castro will hold your heart."—NatalieSypolt, Los Angeles Review

"With these stories, Castro lulls the reader with beautiful, exquisitely crafted sentences. But before we realize it, she reveals the dark contours of her characters’ lives—lives that are often desperate and broken, but not without hope for something better."—Daniel A. Olivas, El Paso Times

"These stories by Joy Castro ask us to notice the invisible: a small boy, the "girl" polishing our silver, the older woman hosting the meeting."—Jeffrey Ann Goudie, Star Tribune

“Joy Castro’s writing is like watching an Acapulco cliff diver. It takes my breath away every time.”—Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

“I love the stories in How Winter Began: the taut narratives, the deft portrayal of characters who, though vulnerable, are stunning in their fierce determination. Reading, I had very physical reactions—sharp intakes of breath, stinging eyes, tightening scalp, adrenaline. It was like being gut-punched again and again, but in a very good way.”—Lorraine López, author of Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories

Table of Contents

A Notion I Took
How to Warp Your Kid
Other Women’s Jewels
Giving Jewel Away
To Practice the Thing
Liking It Rough
Independence Day
A Time of Snow
The Small Heart
A Place I Shouldn’t Go
The Noren
The Tasting
A Favor I Did
How Winter Began
Under Things
Whore for a Day
The Pottery Barn and the Foster Child
The Cave
The Dream of the Father
Personal Effects
All the Time in the World
A Mother Who Means Well Is Harder to Lose
The River
A Choice I Made


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