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The Scoundrel and the Optimist

ISBN: 978-1-931010-65-8
272 pp. | cloth | $28.00

ISBN: 978-1-931010-67-2
272 pp. | paper | $18.00


a novel by Maceo Montoya

Nothing is easy when you are 13, and it's especially challenging when everyone thinks you're 8 because you are tiny; your father is an abusive, tyrannical lout; your siblings are determined to strike out on their own to escape constant drunken rages; and your mother is deeply depressed. In The Scoundrel and the Optimist we meet Edmund, a hapless but irrepressible redheaded teen whose magnificent strength of spirit makes him a giant among men. Despite roadblocks and bad advice, Edmund is determined to win the heart of Ingrid Genera and to become a great guitar player. But his most notable accomplishment is teaching his father, Filastro, the value of integrity and optimism. After a prolonged episode of debauchery, Filastro discovers just how horrifying abuse is. Edmund nurses him back to health and in the process teaches him that love is mightier than fists and is worth great sacrifice. At once humorous and touching, The Scoundrel and the Optimist is a delightful read.

Maceo Montoya grew up in Elmira, California. He comes from a family of artists, including his father, Malaquías Montoya, a renowned artist, activist, and educator, and his late brother, Andrés Montoya, whose poetry collection The Iceworker Sings and Other Poems won the American Book Award in 2000. Maceo graduated from Yale University in 2002 and received his Master of Fine Arts in painting from Columbia University in 2006. He lives in Woodland, California, where he paints and writes. This is his first novel, and it features one of his own works of art on the cover.

"Human and humorous from page one, this tale is full of riotous energy and unexpected universal truths. Dostoyevsky has crossed the border in the pen of Maceo Montoya." Ernesto Quiñónez, author of Bodega Dreams