International Latino Book Award-winning author releasing newest work of magical realism in paperback this fall

SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Rudy Ruiz brings his brand of polished storytelling, cultural immersion and magical realism to a visionary novel that explores and upends classic American genres: Western, Southern gothic and horror. The novel, “Valley of Shadows,” was released in paperback by Blackstone Publishing on Sept. 17, 2023, just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Since its hardcover release in 2022, “Valley of Shadows” became a National Latino Book Club pick and is currently long-listed for Reading the West Book Awards sponsored by the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association. The Texas Institute of Letters recently honored the book as the winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction.

“Valley of Shadows” shifts back and forth through time, kicking off in West Texas in 1883, but slowly revealing its protagonist’s past in sections dating back to the mid-1800’s, when the Rio Grande became the new border between the U.S. and Mexico, and the 1860’s, when Mexico battled the French Imperial invasion. The hero of the story is Solitario Cisneros, a former Mexican lawman who lives up to his solitary name. He lost his wife, his family, even his country when the river shifted course. He has resigned himself to a life of solitary regret, communing with spirits and whispering to horses. But a gruesome series of macabre murders and abductions, along with the friendship of an unlikely ally, present him with an unexpected second chance at life, or death.

“Valley of Shadows” sheds light on the dark past of injustice, isolation, and suffering along the U.S.-Mexico border. Rudy Ruiz transports readers to a distant time and a remote place where the immortal forces of good and evil dance amidst the shadows of magic and mountains.

As readers follow Solitario and his Mexican-Apache friend Onawa into the desert, they join them in facing haunting questions about the human condition that are as relevant today as they were back then: Can we rewrite our own history and shape our own future? What does it mean to belong to a place, or for a place to belong to a people? And, as lonely and defeated as we might feel, are we ever truly alone?

About Rudy Ruiz

Rudy Ruiz grew up in Brownsville, Texas. He attended Harvard University, where he received a Bachelor’s in Government and a Master’s in Public Policy. While there, he also studied literature and creative writing and he received a Ford Foundation grant to support his writing. His first fiction book was a collection of short stories titled Seven for the Revolution. His second fiction book, a novel titled The Resurrection of Fulgencio Ramirez, was published in 2020. His first novel won two Gold Medals at the 2021 International Latino Book Awards and was named in the Top 10 Best First Novels of 2020 by the American Library Association’s Booklist. In addition to being an author, Ruiz is a contributor to CNN and other major media outlets, and is the CEO and co-founder of Interlex, an advocacy marketing agency that focuses on social issues.

Contact: Angelle Barbazon


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