Books by Matt

Twitching Heart
by Matt Mendez
From Floricanto Press

Twitching Heart

In a remarkable debut, Matt Mendez writes beautifully crafted  stories, creating characters with clarity and worlds that are full,  rich, and powerful.


This is exactly how a winning debut should read—fluid and raw,  redemptive and inevitable.  Underneath the humor runs a gifted  storyteller’s nuanced take on the paradox of the outsider.  A triumphant  first swing from one of the new stars in the next generation of Chicano  lit.

~ Manuel Muñoz, author of What You See in the Dark


Mendez’s stories emerge out of the gritty and working-class barrios  of El Paso.  At times gesturing towards the magical realism south of the  border, his characters struggle to carve out a piece of the “American  Dream,” but the difficulties they endure often leave them speechless.   This is where Mendez’s strength as a writer is most visible.  While his  characters struggle to find the right words, he does not.  His prose is  restrained, his metaphors apt, and his details are damn near perfect.   The desert might be unforgiving, but Mendez is able to impart a degree  of grace into his stories without resorting to sentimentality.  One of  the sharpest young writers in the Southwest, he gives voice to a region  that has remained on the periphery of American literature for far too  long.  His will be a career to watch closely.

~ D. Seth Horton, Series Editor, New Stories from the Southwest and Series Co-Editor, Best of the West: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri


El Paso is at the center of the new map of the West. Matt Mendez writes from, and about, Chuco’s heart.

~ Dagoberto Gilb, author of Before the End, After the Beginning

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Reviews

 “Méndez offers a cast of well-drawn characters and lots of darkness.  As a young author, the writer doesn’t pretend to forge an illuminating  ethos for his people. Instead the stories move characters through the  night, show people going through the motions thinking through a fog,  gente who, when they make decisions, get it all wrong.” — Em Sedano, La Bloga


“Matt Méndez’s Twitching Heart (Floricanto Press) is an  evocative collection of stories set in El Paso that challenges the  reader to explore the dynamics of relationships, gender roles, politics  and faith. The prose is simple but true, and the stories are suspenseful  and often without easy conclusions, which encourage the reader to  ponder the layers of meaning in Méndez’s prose.” — Sergio Troncoso, The El Paso Times


“There is much to like and admire in Méndez’s first collection of  stories. His fully developed characters and settings bring the reader  deep into their world and keep readers wanting more. One can only  imagine what will come next.” — Nick Depascal, Tucson Weekly


“Twitching Heart is a collection interested  in revealing the human condition, with all its diamonds and blemishes.   As David Foster Wallace once said, “Fiction is one of the few  experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved.”   Ultimately, these stories promise the possibility of love and rebirth  even in tragedy, despair, and heartache.” — Kindall Gray, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts 

Other Fiction

 “A Girl More Still”
PANK Magazine : November 2009