The Saint of Santa Fe (ISBN: 978-1-937536-56-5, Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-68114-141-1, LCCN: 2013956964, 198pp, 6X9″, $20, April 7, 2014, Purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or as a Kindle Edition for $2.99): In 1968, a young, recently ordained Colombian priest leaves behind everything to start a new parish in the jungles of Panama. Father Héctor Gallego soon discovers that his parishioners live as indentured servants. Inspired by liberation theology, he sets into motion a plan to liberate them. Father Gallegos is successful, but his work places him on a collision course with General Omar Torrijos, the nation’s absolute ruler. On January 9, 1971, military operatives abduct the priest. He is never seen or heard from again, but he remains very much alive in the minds of Panamanians who, still today, clamor for his case to be brought to justice. Although The Saint of Santa Fe is a work of fiction, the novel is based on the real-life experiences of Héctor Gallego and the campesinos who worked alongside him to create a just society. This sweeping novel tells many stories, including that of Edilma, the priest’s sister who since age eleven has been searching for the meaning of his death. The Saint of Santa Fe is a story of faith, heroism, and sacrifice that’s reminiscent of Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory and Miguel de Unamuno’s San Manuel Bueno, mártir.
The Season of Stories: ($20, 174pp, 6X9”, Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-268-5; $35: Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-269-2; $2.99: E-Book ISBN-13: 978-1-68114-270-8; LCCN: 2016906913; Release: June 25, 2016; Purchase on Amazon, Google Books or Barnes & Noble): In 1961, twelve year-old Diego Miranda’s life changes drastically when his parents inform him that they are moving back to their homeland, Nicaragua. The boy, who has lived only in Los Angeles, hates the idea of leaving the city he loves, his friends, and his beloved Dodgers. In the middle of this crisis, he meets the writer Scott O’Dell, the novelist who has recently won the Newbery Medal for Island of the Blue Dolphins. In spite of their age difference, the two become close friends. As a result of this relationship, Diego’s teachers invite the writer to give a talk about the Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa. O’Dell chooses to narrate the story of Balboa’s colonization efforts, his sighting of the Pacific Ocean, and his eventual beheading through the eyes of Anayansi—the Indian Princess with whom he shared his life. Told alongside each other, Diego’s and Anayansi’s lives intertwine to create a broad, stunning portrait—set four centuries apart—of the redemptive power of storytelling.
Silvio Sirias is the author of the Bernardo and the Virgin (2005); Meet Me under the Ceiba (2009), winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Award for Best Novel; The Saint of Santa Fe (2013); and The Season of Stories (2016). A native of Los Angeles, he spent his adolescence in Nicaragua and currently lives in Panama. In 2010, LatinoStories.com named Silvio one of the “Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch (and Read).” The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature lists him among the “handful of authors” who are introducing Central American themes into the U.S. literary landscape. The Season of Stories is his first venture into Young Adult Literature. For more information, visit his website at www.silviosirias.com or his Amazon Author page.
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