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The Soledad Crucifixion

Nancy Wood

Winner of the 2013 Zia Award from New Mexico Press Women

Winner of the gold medal for West-Mountain Best Regional Fiction in the 2013 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards

A Panelist Pick for Southwest Books of the Year, Best Reading of 2012

In the New Mexico village of Camposanto, a priest is tied to a cross made from a sacred cottonwood tree. Father Lorenzo Soledad’s adversaries, the impoverished tribe called the Calabazas, observe from below, and Juan Lobo, the head man of the Calabazas, sings the Song of Passage, preparing the priest for his journey by rubbing a white powder across his brow. It’s a chilly April Friday in 1897. In two days it will be Easter, but for Soledad there will be no resurrection.

Is Soledad a martyr? A saint? A suicide? This gripping novel by a New Mexico writer who has spent a lifetime pondering the complicated cultures of the Southwest tells Soledad’s story from his boyhood in a Texas bordello to his final day in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.


Nancy Wood (1936-2013) was the author of twenty-five books and a noted photographer of the Southwest. She was the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Frank Waters Lifetime Achievement Award.


"Wood's wit is cactus-dry in this wryly ironic tale of an unorthodox relationship between a priest and his potential flock."



"This novel is a story filled with magic, spirituality, and Pueblo traditions, all played out in the heartbreakingly beautiful landscape of northern New Mexico. It is a wonderfully written and supremely entertaining book, highly recommended."


Historical Novels Review

"Wood deserves praise for writing the best literary post-Western in recent memory."


Tucson Weekly

"Author of eight volumes of poetry as well as 18 other books, Wood writes lyrically, creating a universe where miracles can and do happen -- not just once, but frequently."


High Country News

5.5 x 8.5 in. 336 pages