Nítido Amán knows he was born in Guatemala, but he doesn't know why his family left. Raised in the States by his immigrant parents, they never talked about it. When Nítido loses his father to Alzheimer's disease, his despondent mother grows increasingly silent and Nítido realizes that his links to the past are disappearing.
Seeking answers, Nítido travels to Guatemala against his mother's wishes. Upon his arrival in the small town of Río Roto, he is mistaken for the new priest, and decides to play the part. From his parishioners, he catches tantalizing and frightening glimpses of the buried history he's aching to know. In a place shrouded in secrets, Nítido is at once determined and frightened to unearth the unnamed horrors it has seen.
With her elegant, hypnotic prose, this marks Sellers- García's arrival as a distinctive new voice in fiction.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
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About the Author
What People are Saying About This
Mesmerizing. (Katharine Weber, author of The Little Women)
Mysteries unfold across time and space in this spell-binding journey into Latin Americas tragic past and unsettled present. With grace and verve, Sylvia Sellers-Garcia dissects the baroque heart of a rural village and finds the emotional tissue that binds it to one man's soul. (Hector Tobar, author of The Tattooed Soldier and Translation Nation)
Reading Group Guide
Raised in the United States by his immigrant parents, Nítido Amán is returning to his birthplace in Guatemala—before the traces of the past vanish completely in his mother’s silence, and his father’s recent death at the hands of Alzheimer’s disease.
Upon his arrival in the small village of Río Roto, Nítido is mistaken for the new local priest and immediately finds himself thrown into the violent politics, secrets and superstitions of the town. Charged with addressing the spiritual—and physical—needs of the seemingly cursed village, Nítido is confronted with the burdens and blessings of time and memory—while piecing together his own family’s history.
When the Ground Turns in its Sleep is a haunting portrait of one man’s journey to unearth his true identity, and to sow the seeds of healing among generations and cultures.
ABOUT SYLVIA SELLERS-GARCÍA
Sylvia Sellers-García was born in Boston and grew up in the United States and Central America. A graduate of Brown University and a Marshall scholar at Oxford, she has interned at Harper’s and worked at The New Yorker; her fiction has been published in StoryQuarterly. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American History at the University of California, Berkeley.