Cover photograph: Black Mesa, NM, looking east
from Fred Cata's 1957 Chevy Belair, July, 1987
by Alex Harris
IPPY Bronze West-Mountain
Best Regional Fiction
The Southwest Book Design Award Trade Book/Non-Illustrated: Barbara Haines
New Mexico Book Award
for Fiction, Other
ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Fiction: Short Stories
Eric Hoffer Award
The IPPY Awards have increased recognition of titles by independent authors and publishers in North America since 1996.
by Martha Egan
Award winning author Martha Egan presents a collection of seven new short stories in which she relishes the ways of an ancient place where nothing ever seems to change. In New Mexico’s landscape of high desert plains, adobe villages, and farmsteads nestled in the folds of piñón green mountains—even in centuries old cities sprawling into modern shopping mall culture—time can seem to stand still.
Take the title story, "La Ranfla" (slang for a vintage car, often a lowrider),
which follows newly arrived hippies as they buy a used truck from a neighbor
and learn to play by Trickster’s rules. Or notice how an old woman’s memories
of a midwife in the 1920s help her explain to her granddaughter the genetics
involved in the girl’s attraction to her boyfriend’s green eyes. Why does a grudge
lasting generations end with a standoff in a tiny rural cemetery? Could an unruly
mutt help a struggling Albuquerque silversmith learn to stand her ground? After
a trip to Navajo Country for a ceremonial, Anna Gaudet is inspired to open a
new business—and her heart—as she comes to understand how time can be circular
and layered as well as linear. Española vet Rosalía Martínez rescues a battered
stray dog that changes her life forever. A broken down MGB strands a college
boy in a border town, where local life proves to be unexpectedly seductive.
Step into another way of understanding time and place in these delightful stories. They may be set in New Mexico but they resonate with basic human truths that transcend the limits of regionalism.
Publisher: Papalote Press, Santa Fe, NM
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-097558814-7 $24.95
Paperback: ISBN: 978-097558815-4 $15.00
Pages: 202 including glossary
Author Praise for La Ranfla:
"There is only one New Mexico! And there’s only one Martha Egan. Híjole, her book, La Ranfla and Other New Mexican Stories, is full of wild magic and the unconquered, unvanquished human spirit that will foster in all its readers a love for a place that is still the Wild West. Only someone who knows los ins y los outs can tell this story. Orale, Comadrita, the ride is really good."
-Denise Chávez, author of A Taco Testimony, Meditations on Family, Food and Culture
"In La Ranfla, Martha Egan captures the quirkiness of Northern New Mexico in a series of colorfully drawn short stories rich with wonderfully authentic characters. It’s a fine, fine ride."
-Anne Hillerman, author of Santa Fe Flavors and Hillerman’s Landscape: On
the Road with an American Legend.
"The literary equivalent of a green chile fix, this collection of Martha Egan’s is just as addicting—a liberal serving of what it feels like to live in New Mexico—the Land of Entrapment—especially as a gringa."
-Christine Mather, author of Christine Mather’s Santa Fe Christmas