Since his retirement in 2008, professor emeritus of History Gerald McFarland has developed a new pursuit; his first novel, “The Brujo’s Way,” has been published by Sunstone Press.
The book is set in early 18th-century Santa Fe, New Mexico, a place and time that McFarland covered in an upper-level history course he often taught on the American West during his 44 years on the faculty.
Magic and realism mix throughout the novel’s narrative, says McFarland. Its leading character, Don Alfonso Cabeza de Vaca, is to all appearances a typical member of New Spain’s elite, a social class whose traits are realistically presented. Even after circumstances cause him to move to Santa Fe, a tiny frontier town on the northernmost edge of Spain's North American colonies, he carefully maintains his public persona as an ordinary member of his class. But this is a disguise he adopts to hide his secret identity as a brujo named Don Carlos Buenaventura, who practices a benign form of sorcery, and this magical element is evident from the novel’s first sentence onward: “His mother was late in the fifth month of her pregnancy with him, when Don Carlos, a brujo of extraordinary powers, realized that something was not right.”
McFarland is the author of four scholarly books in U.S. history, including “A Scattered People: An American Family Moves West.”
The book is available for $26.95 in softcover.