The Bridge

Daniel Orozco

Faber and Faber, Inc.

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A young bridge painter is awakened from the hum of daily routine by a face-to-face encounter with a woman in free fall.
 
“The Bridge” is a story from Daniel Orozco’s critically acclaimed collection Orientation, which leads the reader through the hidden lives and moral philosophies of bridge painters, men housebound by obesity, office temps, and warehouse workers. He reveals the secret pleasures of late-night supermarket trips for cookie binges, exceptional data entry, and an exiled dictator’s occasional piss on the U.S. embassy. A love affair blooms between two officers in the impartially worded pages of a police blotter; a new employee’s first-day office tour includes descriptions of other workers’ most private thoughts and actions; during an earthquake, the consciousness of the entire state of California shakes free for examination.

Orientation introduces a writer at the height of his powers, whose work surely invites us to reassess the landscape of American fiction.

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Book Excerpts

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THE BRIDGE (Chapter 1)

It was tradition on the bridge for each member of the paint crew to get a nickname. It was tradition that the name be pulled out of the air, and not really mean anything. It was just what you go by at work. But Baby’s name was different. Baby’s name was a special case.

Union Hall had sent him up when W.C. retired last summer. Although he’d been working high steel a few years, Baby was young, about twenty-five, but looked younger. He was long and skinny, with wide hands that dangled by thin wrists from his too-short sleeves.

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Reviews

Praise for The Bridge

Praise for Orientation by Daniel Orozco:

“Inspired . . . acidly comic . . . virtuosic.” —Ted Weesner, The Boston Globe

“‘Temporary Stories,’ the eighth entry in Daniel Orozco’s debut collection, Orientation (Faber and Faber), is a gem and a killer. Not since Henry James’s ‘In the Cage’ has a writer so perfectly captured the anxieties of interacting with the public for pay. Somehow, Orozco manages to convey James’s psychological acuity with one-tenth of his clauses, mingling it with Steven Millhauser’s sense of lunatic joy.” —Eugenia Williamson, The Boston Phoenix

“Orozco’s long-anticipated collection, Orientation and Other Stories, holds a cracked Barthelme-meets-Kafka-esque mirror to this twenty-first-century American life.” —Megan O’Grady, Vogue

“[Orozco’s] cracked characters grip like Krazy Glue.” —Lisa Shea, Elle

“These nine darkly funny, profoundly compassionate stories take as their subject the loneliness particular to contemporary culture . . . ‘You can’t know anybody, not really, not in the brief overlaps of flimsy acquaintance, nor in the tenuous and fleeting opportunities for connection that we are afforded,’ thinks a man about to be shot for the $60 in his wallet. But the real genius here is the subtle accumulation of evidence to the contrary—the insistence that even in the office cubicle, or between the lines of the police blotter, human contact is sought after and made.” —More magazine

“The moment you begin this incomparable debut, you’ll discover why Daniel Orozco’s fans have been shouting his praises for years. In these wildly original stories, single details reveal whole human lives; the impersonal dissolves seamlessly into the personal; the geological transforms into the psychological; and the short story itself breaks open to reveal previously unimagined possibility. This may be Orozco’s first collection, but he’s nothing short of a master.” —Julie Orringer, author of The Invisible Bridge and How to Breathe Underwater

Orientation is a wonderful collection of stories. ‘Somoza’s Dream’ alone is worth the price of the ticket. But that’s not fair, because the same could be said of ‘Officers Weep,’ ‘Shakers,’ and every single story in this stunning piece of literary art.” —David Means, author of The Spot

Orientation is a seriously good book—beautifully written, rigorous, funny, brokenhearted, smart, and without a hint of pretense. Orozco has achieved that rare thing, his own prose rhythm, and the truth of it is a pleasure to the ear.” —Adam Haslett, author of Union Atlantic

“I became a fan of Daniel Orozco when I first read the story ‘Orientation’ back in the 1990s. I’ve been waiting eagerly for this collection ever since, and I’m so grateful to have it in my hands at last. Orozco is a vital American writer, and this book is cause for celebration.” —Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply

“At a time when trivial tales are often expanded and diluted into book-length narratives, Daniel Orozco’s Orientation brings hope for the return of serious short-form storytelling. The stories in this collection make one marvel at the bigness of their creator’s mind—each of them has the depth and scope of a novel. Orozco has both the relentlessness and the compassion of a truly great writer.” —Yiyun Li, author of The Vagrants

“This book brims with big, deadly surprises and sharp, hallucinatory images. Orozco can do anything: first, second, third person; he can explode moments into whole stories, and dash through lifetimes in a paragraph. Orientation contains nine unsettling, boundary-crossing, and exquisitely-fashioned stories—and I won't be surprised when it becomes a classic.” —Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector and Memory Wall


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About the Author

Daniel Orozco

Daniel Orozco’s stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, The Best American Essays, and the Pushcart Prize anthology, as well as in publications such as Harper’s Magazine, Zoetrope: All-Story, McSweeney’s, Ecotone, and StoryQuarterly. He was awarded a 2006 NEA Fellowship in fiction, and was a finalist for a 2006 National Magazine Award in fiction. A former Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford, he teaches creative writing at the University of Idaho.

Daniel Orozco

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Bridge
Daniel Orozco

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Faber & Faber
Faber and Faber, Inc.
September 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466800625
ISBN10: 1466800623
eBook Original32 pages
$0.00
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