Normal Miguel

Erik Orrantia


ISBN: 978-0-9797773-9-4

Pages: 224

Retail Price: $13.99

Recommended Age: 16 and up

Normal Miguel Study Guide Questions


Miguel Hernández 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 students, the Directora of the school, the baker, and other people from the town all contribute to his growing awareness. But most important is Ruben, the owner of the candy store who progresses from merchant to friend to lover. He will be the man who has the most effect on Miguel — who, in turn, is transformed by the impact of Miguel on his own life.

This is a lyrical story that brings to life the countryside of rural Mexico, with its grinding poverty but care of the people for their native land; expressing prejudice and hate but at the same time affirming the power of love and acceptance in overcoming obstacles. As a slice of life in the year of Miguel, Normal Miguel will certainly capture the hearts and imaginations of those who join him on his journey in the pages of the book.


“From beginning to end, Erik Orrantia’s Normal Miguel carried me into territory that was both familiar and unfamiliar. It is a narrative firmly rooted in place, that is, rural Mexico. As such, it focuses on themes of man’s relationship to the land, family, community and traditions. Yet, it is a beautifully woven love story from a gifted, exceptional writer – a love of one man for another, and also for a community. This novel is a stereotype-shattering vision of Mexico and its people.”

    Alan Chin, author of Island Song and The Lonely War

“Like that new day, this story sings to the heart of those who will listen. A lovely song indeed. Highly recommended!”

“Coming to understand oneself is one of the most marvelous things. Normal Miguel is the story of a teacher coming to terms with who he is. Through the people around him, he learns much about the world and much understanding, as well as finding someone who will stay with him for the rest of his days. Normal Miguel is a charming and thoughtful piece of gay fiction, highly recommended.”

    Midwest Book Review

“Few novels in English or Spanish have attempted to address the issue of homosexuality in a rural environment, which is depicted in Normal Miguel with extreme sensitivity for the working class people.”

“Some books trap you in reality and others charm you with their wit, but I love those that take me places. Setting is just as important as plot and character and becomes even more crucial for some stories. Erik Orrantia’s Normal Miguel is one of those tales.”

“Orrantia delivers a plot that is relatively easy to relate to, characters who pulled at my heart strings, and kept me reading well into the night.”