February 2013 Featured Book


El Iluminado: A Graphic Novel
By Ilan Stavans, Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture, and Steve Sheinkin

Ilan Stavans and Steve Sheinkin's graphic novel takes a highly entertaining and informative journey through a largely unknown slice of New Mexican and Jewish history. - Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times

When young Rolando Pérez falls to his death from a cliff outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, the mysteries immediately begin to accumulate. In the midst of the investigation, Professor Ilan Stavans arrives in Santa Fe to give a lecture about the area's long-buried Jewish history. He's looking forward to relaxing afterwards with an evening of opera, but his presentation on "crypto-Jews" attracts unexpected attention, and soon Ilan is drawn into a desperate race to find the long-lost documents that might hold the key to Rolando's death.

Ilan's detective work leads him to taco joints, desert ranches, soaring cathedrals, and, finally, deep into the region's past. In El Iluminado, esteemed literary critic Ilan Stavans and author and illustrator Steve Sheinkin present a secret history of religion in the Americas, showing how thousands of European refugees have left a trail of ghostly footprints--and troves of mysteries--across the American Southwest.