BOOKS: History Into Fiction


Graduate student and novelist Sylvia Sellers-García recounts the circumstances that inspired her first novel: When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep.

In early July of 1999, I found myself standing by the side of a highway in Guatemala, waiting for the arrival of a priest I had never met. Our encounter had been arranged by a mutual acquaintance who had told me that I wouldn’t have any trouble recognizing him: he would be the only person by the side of the highway other than me with blue eyes. The priest showed up alone, in a small, run-down car, and walked up to me without hesitation. Instead of trying to speak over the roar of the traffic, he shook my hand and then pointed to the roadside café where he had parked his car.

Sylvia Sellers-García
Publication date: 
January 15, 2008
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article