Some Are Born under a Star/Unos nacen con estrella: A Northern New Mexico Novel: A Northern New Mexico Novel

Some Are Born under a Star/Unos nacen con estrella: A Northern New Mexico Novel: A Northern New Mexico Novel




This never before published last novel by Jim Sagel (1947–1998), whose unique style of writing about New Mexico Hispano culture and mastery of New Mexican Spanish was dubbed “Chicanesque,” re-enacts the traditional Christmas play, Los Pastores, as the backdrop for a parallel story set in the fictional New Mexican village of San Buenaventura where a young woman has just given birth to a baby boy. The infant is Jesús (Jesus in Los Pastores) and his biological mother is Marta (Mary). Sagel informs the reader in the first paragraph that the mother has only twenty-three days to live. Sagel explicitly invokes a guiding star that shines over Bethlehem and foreshadows the tragedy of this holy mother’s death. But the story is not really about that. Instead, it is about the residents of the town who form the cast of Los Pastores. Each chapter opens with a scene from the single December performance. In particular, we follow the romance of Marta Elena Mascareñas (born Chacón) and Francisco Mascareñas, as well as the travails of the Chacón and Mascareñas extended families and friends. This is a story written with the dark and biting humor termed carrilla, a style of verbal play that evokes tears of laughter and stings of recognition. Ultimately, Sagel spins a tale intended to make us laugh even as we cry—much as life does. San Buenaventura’s people suffer brutal blows that sometimes (or often) knock them senseless, struggling to regain their footing, and seeing stars. They do so even as they live under a guiding star.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780890136393
Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press
Publication date: 08/01/2018
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface Michael L. Trujillo 5

Foreword Denise Chávez 7

Introduction Michael L. Trujillo 11

The Cast of Los pastores Michael L. Trujillo 21

Some Are Born under a Star Jim Sagel

Acknowledgments 23

1 Some Are Born under a Star 25

2 Blessed Earth, Do Not Remove 33

3 The Violin of the Just 43

4 The World Champion of Laziness 53

5 Slow and Easy 61

6 Each Pill Knows Where to Go 67

7 Only the Hermit Remains Vigilant 75

8 A Mountain of Lies 85

9 Too Big Story 97

10 The Ski King 107

11 Others Are Born Seeing Stars 115

Unos nacen con estrella Jim Sagel

1 Unos nacen con estrella 123

2 Tierra bendita, no se permite llevar 131

3 El violín de los justos 141

4 El campeón de los perezosos 151

5 Slow and Easy 159

6 Cada píldora sabe su lugar 165

7 Sólo el Ermitaño queda vigilante 173

8 Montón de mentiras 183

9 Too Big Story 195

10 El rey del esquí 205

11 Otros nacen estrellados 213

Appendix: The Novel's Protagonists Michael L. Trujillo 219

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