Big Dreams and Dark Secrets in Chimayó: A Novel

Big Dreams and Dark Secrets in Chimayó: A Novel

by G. Benito Córdova




Big Dreams and Dark Secrets in Chimay? is a mythological saga about Flaco Salvador Cascabel Natividad, a native of Chimay?, New Mexico, and an alcoholic. Benito Córdova follows Salvador through situations and encounters that expose his vulnerabilities in light of his community's expectations and standards of masculinity.

At various times Salvador is an employee at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a patient at the Embudo Rehabilitation Center, and a contracted worker for Abiquiu artist Georgia O'Keeffe. In an alcohol-induced moment, Salvador offers to substitute for the groom, his friend, at a wedding because the real husband-to-be is so drunk he can't stand up. However, the ceremony is all too real and Salvador is accidentally married to his friend's intended bride.

At a significant moment in the story, Salvador is hauling wood in a snowstorm from the nearby mountains when he is pinned by a falling tree. Night is approaching, it is getting colder, and, as Salvador lies trapped under the tree, he begins to envision his own death, funeral, and burial in terms of how he has lived his life. He sees the failure of his marriage, which ended shortly after it began in an alcohol haze, and he is tortured by his personal demons concerning his identity as a Génizaro, a Hispanicized Indian.

Salvador's story is a blend of humor and tragedy that exemplifies today's rural New Mexico.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826340757
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Publication date: 10/15/2006
Series: Paso Por Aqui Series in the Nuevomexicano Literary Heritage
Pages: 319
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

G. Benito Córdova is a professor emeritus in anthropology, University of New Mexico, Gallup. He lives in Española, New Mexico.

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