Disparo en la catedral
by Mario Bencastro
Publication Date: January 1, 1997
Bind: Trade Paperback
Finalist, International “Novedades y Diana” Award
When Rogelio Villaverde finds himself destitute and desperate for employment, he leaps at the chance for work with The Tribune, a small newspaper in San Salvador. The jumbled pieces of his life begin to fall neatly into place with his new job, a new love interest—Lourdes, a new lease on life.
But the recent military coup d’etat brings curfews and martial law. Rogelio’s work with the newspaper plunges him into the political melee. He is forced to discard his political ambivalence and take a position. He can no longer remain indifferent in the face of the chaos that has overtaken the lives of everyone around him. His anti-government sentiments peak with the assassination of Archbishop Romero and the aftermath, when soldiers opened fire on the throngs of mourners.
Rogelio’s first instinct is to escape the madness and accompany his boss and friend into exile. But destiny takes another radical twist, and chilling events seal Rogelio’s fate. He is compelled to remain and join the struggle for justice and freedom in his homeland.
More than a political novel, A Shot in the Cathedral is a tribute to the endurance of the human spirit. Its protagonists are ordinary people who strive to live ordinary lives in the midst of dangerous and oppressive circumstances.
“A vivid newsreel of a country disintegrating.” -Publishers Weekly
“Makes powerfully real for us the human dimensions of war’s phlegmatic impersonality.” -Kirkus Reviews
A native of El Salvador, MARIO BENCASTRO is an award-winning novelist, playwright and painter. He took up the brush and canvas as the first outlet for his artistic expression. The medium garnered him remarkable success from an early age, with his works gracing the walls of major galleries in El Salvador, the United States, Latin America and Europe. Despite his success as a painter, the social and political drama unfolding in his country compelled him to concentrate his artistic endeavors in literature. His first novel, A Shot in the Cathedral (Arte Público Press, 1996), is a powerful work focusing on the coup d’etat in El Salvador in 1979. It was a finalist in the international Diana y Novedades Literary Prize.
Learn more at mariobencastro.org.