The third novel from Francisco X. Stork, Marcelo
in the Real World is the story of Marcelo Sandoval and his
discovery of the world the rest of us think we know.
Seventeen-year-old Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear,
part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify.
Marcelo is tagged with a "developmental disorder" because of his pervasive
interest in God and all things religious and because he does not relate to others
as expected. He's always attended a special school where his differences have
been protected. But the summer after his junior year, his father demands that
Marcelo work in his law firm's mailroom in order to experience "the real
world." There Marcelo meets Jasmine, a beautiful and surprising coworker,
and Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. Marcelo learns about competition
and jealousy, anger and desire. But it's a picture he finds in a file — a
picture of a girl with half a face — that truly connects him with the real
world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.
book is wise and thought-provoking, tense and beautiful.
I wish only that there could be more Marcelos in the real
Nolan, National Book Award winner for Dancing on the Edge
in the Real World is mesmerizing, a coming-of-age
story in the realest sense — leaving the Eden
of an extended childhood and slowly awakening to the knowledge
of good and evil both outside and within. Marcelo's
voice is at once innocent and knowing, and the challenges
he faces compelling. There were moments that made me feel
as though I were seeing the world for the first time, and,
along with Marcelo, wondering how it is to be endured."
Zarr, National Book Award nominee for Story of a Girl