PEN/Bellweather Prize for socially engaged fiction, finalist
Faith and Fat Chances
Carla Trujillo brings to life another side of the fabled city of Santa Fe in this rollicking novel set in Dogtown, a dilapitated neighborhood on the outskirts of town. Home to a hardscrabble community of working people struggling to make a living on meager means, Dogtown is worlds apart from the tourists, artists, and upscale eateries just a stone’s throw away. The closely-knit neighborhood thrives in its own way, until an entrepreneur in cahoots with the mayor arrives with a plan to seize Dogtown, cast out its occupants through eminent domain, and construct a winery in its place.
Led by Dogtown’s unofficial mayor, Pepa Romero—an irreverent healer with old-world wisdom, new-age knowledge, and a keen eye for business—the citizens of Dogtown plan a revolt. Using everything at their disposal, including spying, supernatural powers, the law, and individual cunning, they set in motion a thrilling and at times hilarious chain of events that culminates in a storm of epic proportions. In the process, they must overcome a host of hardships and mishaps, not least a rift in their own ranks that threatens to overturn all their efforts. With an unforgetable cast of characters, Faith and Fat Chances illuminates the ingenuity and resilience of people fighting to preserve their way of life.
Praise for Faith and Fat Chances
"Carla Trujillo writes with corazon about everyday people for everyday people.Her work is savvy, tough, and laugh-out-loud funny. This is the voice of the new millennium."
Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street
"Carla Trujillo delivers a delightful but thoughtful mediation on eminent domain and atomic experiments and the communities that struggle against them with planning meetings, lawyers, news media and of course, magic. Pepa is simply unforgettable!"
Helena Maria Viramontes, author of Their Dogs Came With Them
"A humorously enchanting story about the inevitable forces of change on a small, hardscrabble community situated on the marginalized edges of Santa Fe … Carla Trujillo’s voice is at once tender and true, epic and poetic. She seamlessly weaves together the essential elements of great storytelling—a timeless location, unforgettable characters forced into increasingly complex situations."
Ellery Washington, Associate Professor, Creative Writing, Pratt Institute