Published by Arte Público Press 1991, Sleep of the Innocents is a novel set in a remote village of present day Guatemala. Time stands still in Soledad; people live as they did a century ago and although few modern conveniences exist, hard work and faith keeps them strong in their struggle with the land.
When a stranger mysteriously appears, stepping out of the jungle like a shadow come to life, everything changes. The charismatic revolutionary, Vicente, is on the run with government troops close on his trail. This man, who is like no one they have ever known, intrigues the young men of Soledad. They are quickly won over by his ideas and Vicente eagerly starts training his new recruits without delay. Suddenly, however, government troops arrive and Soledad finds itself in the midst of civil war.
This a story of what these simple townspeople must do to survive both the ideas of the revolutionary and the government’s retaliation. Trapped between two dangerous adversaries, the people of Soledad need to change who and what they are— if they are to prevent their extinction.
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Sleep of the Innocents received excellent reviews: