The Book of Archives and Other Stories from the Mora Valley, New Mexico
A native of Mora with el don de la palabra, the divine gift of words, Meléndez mines historical sources and his own imagination to reconstruct the valley’s story, first in English and then in Spanish. He strings together humorous, tragic, and quotidian vignettes about historical events and unlikely occurrences, creating a vivid portrait of Mora, both in cultural memory and present reality. Local gossip and family legend intertwine with Spanish-language ballads and the poetry of New Mexico’s most famous dueling troubadours, Old Man Vilmas and the poet García. Drawing on New Mexican storytelling tradition, Meléndez weaves a colorful dual-language representation of a place whose irresistible characters and unforgettable events, and the inescapable truths they embody, still resonate today.
Available for purchase here.