Following the acclaimed Secrets of The Talking Jaguar and Long Life, Honey in the Heart, this is an expansive, lyrical novel in the tradition of indigenous oral storytelling. Based on the author's many years of living in a Guatemalan village, Stealing Benefacio's Roses interweaves dramatic recountings of village life and the political horrors of civil war with lyric retellings of sacred Mayan myths. The story shifts expertly from timeless, with archetypal characters like Raggedy Boy and the goddess known as the Water-Skirted Beauty, to timely in the book's striking first-person narrative set in the 1980s. Prechtel shows how ancient myths can become a part of life for everyone and help nurture spiritual survival in the modern world. Though it comes third in sequence with the author's other two books, Stealing Benefacio's Roses also stands on its own as a classic work of spiritual seeking and adventure.
About Martin Prechtel
A master of eloquence and innovative language, Martín Prechtel is a writer, artist, and teacher who, through his work both written and spoken, hopes to promote the subtlety, irony, and premodern vitality hidden in any living language. A half-blood Native American with a Pueblo Indian upbringing, he left New Mexico to live in the village of Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, eventually becoming a full member of the Tzutujil Mayan community there. For many years he served as a principal in that body of village leaders responsible for instructing the young people in the meanings of their ancient stories through the rituals of adult rites of passage. Once again residing in his native New Mexico, Prechtel teaches at his international school, Bolad’s Kitchen. Through music, ritual, farming, sacred architecture, ancient textiles, tools, and story, Prechtel helps people in many lands to remember their own sense of place in the daily sacred through the search for the Indigenous Soul.
"Once in a decade you read a book that, for a time, renders all other books irrelevant, trivial or extraneous—Stealing Benefacio's Roses is one of these peak moments in recent literature."—Richard Grossinger