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Normal Miguel

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Miguel Hernandez is a teacher who has left Mexico City to complete a one year student internship in the rural hills of Puebla. He came to the school intending to focus on his teaching and his students but quickly learns that it is impossible to keep his private and professional lives separate-particularly as his experience turns into a voyage of self-discovery. His student ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Cheyenne Publishing (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Amos Lassen
Orrantia, Erik. “Normal Miguel”, Cheyenne Publishing, 2010.
Discovering Self
Amos Lassen
I really love to read new authors and one writes a book that stays with me, I feel as if I have received a double blessing. Such is the case with Erik Orrantia’s, “Normal Miguel”. The search for identity is certainly nothing new in literature and especially in GLBT literature so an author has to find a new twist to keep the reader involved.
Miguel Hernandez goes into the rural area of Puebla so that he can finis
Normal Miguel is a delightful story about men, women, and children as they live, love, and triumph over hardships while celebrating life to the fullest. This is nominally gay fiction since the lead character is gay and there are certain themes and tensions relating to that, but the concepts are definitely more universal. The search for love, happiness, and a career are issues everyone tackles at one time or another. Miguel is a sympathetic and honest narrator, offering his views and struggles. B ...more
Incredible job describing the setting. I really felt like I was living in a small town in Mexico. Not only that but also living the lives of these small town people. I really want some tortillas and beans now :-)

I really liked reading Miguel's journey of self-discovery. However, I felt like the book had a lot of telling and now showing. Dialogue felt very sparse which made for slow reading.
Elisa Rolle
If you analyze this story, really it’s a very simple one, Miguel is a young teacher living in Mexico City and blaming himself for being gay; he is trying with all his own to make his mother proud, the same mother who is probably reflecting all her disappointed hopes in him; no father around to balance her, in a good or bad way. When Miguel leaves Mexico City for Puebla, in another effort to achieve something worthy in his life, even the job as teacher in a rural boarding school would be better t ...more
This was a fine first book from a new author. Some of the characters weren't as fully developed as I would have liked, but for the most part, the main characters were rendered competently and thoroughly. There was however, a certain choppiness in the flow of the storyline, and some unresolved situations that I would have liked to have seen fleshed out. In particular, I would have liked some continuing narrative of the friendship between Teresa's family and Miguel. We were also left out in the bl ...more
Val Kovalin
Just for fun, 6 word synopsis: Teacher finds purpose in rural Mexico.

Gorgeously vivid depiction of tropical Mexican countryside and memories of crowded, urban Mexico City. Relatively uncomplicated but appealing main character.

Leisurely pace to the story, which covers a year in the life of a student-teacher at a rural school and his interactions with his students which correspond to the seasonal festivals. He has to face some indirect homophobia, but the story keeps an optimistic tone.

There is a
I read this because it recently won a Lambda Literary Award. Liked the story, but the writing wasn't anything special.
Jon Wilson
A sweet, gentle fairytale of rural Mexico—and I’m not using that label lightly. There is a fairy godmother, assorted magical Dwarves/Elves, an old Crone/Hag, an Ogre, and even a Prince Charming (who at one point “rescues” our hero atop a noble steed). Of course, it’s all been updated and “normalized” but all the elements are there.

There’s little not to like about Orrantia’s novel, which tells the tale of Miguel leaving the big city for a year of student-teaching in a very rustic area of Mexico.
Indie Reviews

Review rating: 4.5 stars

Normal Miguel by Erik Orrantia is a beautiful story of a young man's journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. It is an extremely well written novel that transported me to the rural hills of the Puebla and the impoverished rural Mexican village of Comaltican and into the lives of not only Miguel and Ruben, but also the many colourful secondary characters that make up this community.

The complete review of Normal Miguel by Erik Orrantia is available at Indie Reviews.
Normal Miguel is a delightful book. In rural Mexico, a young, gay, student teacher, Miguel, begins a one year internship at a residential school and he learns what it takes to be an adult. The book is very well written and edited, and even though, at times, it became a bit schmaltzy, I'm glad that I read the book. I look forward to reading more from this author. I give Normal Miguel three and a half stars, rounded up to four because goodreads doesn't trust us with half stars.
Sep 04, 2010 Kiki added it
I couldn't rate this because (1) I didn't finish it and (2) I just couldn't decide on a rating; or for that matter, what I think of it. Some of the writing and descriptions are wonderful, but the very slow, very pensive tone made it drag. I gave up on it about 30% through the book when I realized I was MAKING myself continue. Also the the frequent changes in points of view were confusing and irritating; sometimes it'd change POV within the same paragraph!

I might give it another try later ...
Ruth Sims
I did something wrong here. I meant to mark it "To Read" (I don't have a copy yet)but it popped up like this, needing a review. Well, there will be one eventually, but not yet! I love the cover and the blurb.
K.Z. Snow
I'd have given this between 4 and 5 if I'd had the option.
Sarah Sammis
May 19, 2013 Sarah Sammis rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sarah by: Alan Chin
Link+ due May 22, 2013
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Mexican Stereotypes 4 20 Sep 27, 2013 08:42PM  
Born in San Francisco in 1970, Erik Orrantia lived in the San Francisco Bay area until 1997. By that time, he had earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling at California State University in Hayward. His original intention was to build a practice in psychotherapy.

He then felt a calling to explore the world and entered an International Study Program in Mexico City
More about Erik Orrantia...
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