Author and noted smartass


MONA AT SEA (Forthcoming, Santa Fe Writers Project)

When Mona Mireles wakes up every morning, the first thing she sees is the array of plaques and trophies lining her bedroom wall: valedictorian, national spelling bee champion, outstanding delegate in Model UN. But that was the past. Today Mona is eight months out of college, unemployed, she's never had a boyfriend, she lives with her parents in Tucson (the most boring town on the planet), and she’s carving a portrait of the Mona Lisa into her thigh.  

Set during the Great Recession, Mona is forced to navigate the world of the chronically unemployed. She grudgingly attends job seminars with a motley cast of workforce rejects, seeks advice from finance guru Suze Orman, and tries and fails to get anything resembling the plum banking job she believed would be waiting for her after graduation.

A budding relationship with a photographer causes Mona to uncover a long-buried passion, and through this discovery Mona learns that she can find meaning in a life that looks nothing like the one she’d imagined.


Based on (mostly) true events, The Bullet Swallower is a magical realism saga that follows a bandit and a movie star as their stories trace a similar arc, though they are separated by sixty years.

In the tradition of Mexican magical realists like Juan Rulfo and Carlos Fuentes, Elizabeth Gonzalez James weaves a complex and ambitious story that questions the nature of good and evil, and how much a man’s soul is really worth.