I'm so excited to be part of the blog tour for Saint Death and on the publication day of the paperback of this book! Check out my guest post from Marcus and of course, check out the book and pick it up ;)
ALSO - if this book sounds good to you then head to my TWITTER and RT THIS TWEET to be 1 of 3 to win a signed copy!
Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez - twenty metres outside town lies a fence, and beyond it, America - the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he's been working for. He's dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he's on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they're as good as dead. Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) - she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.
Who is Saint Death?
Her proper Spanish name is Santa Muerte, or sometimes Santísima Muerte – “The Most Holy Death”.
She has dozens of nicknames: The White Sister, the Bony Lady and so on.
But who exactly is she and where did she come from?
The truth is that no one knows exactly.
While her cult has been growing rapidly in Mexico (and in Mexican communities in the USA) over the last ten to fifteen years, she has been present in Mexico for much a longer time. Her presence was noted throughout the 20th century, but how much older she is than that is hard to know.
Some say that her roots lie in 18th century cults. Others that she is related to the European grim reaper, and was brought over by the Spanish invasion. Others claim that she goes all the way back to the Aztecs. Some state that she started out life not in Mexico at all, but in other Central American countries, such as Guatemala, or even further down, from somewhere in South America.
All this is enough to be sure that we can’t say for certain what her origins are – she bears a passing resemblance to the grim reaper, for sure, usually depicted with a scythe in one hand (and the world in the other) but she is undoubtedly female, and displays feminine traits of nurturing and protection.
Which brings us to today, and why she is growing so fast in popularity. People across Mexico are turning to her for support and guidance, for good luck and prosperity. Mexico has its fair share of problems – devotees of Santa Muerte believe that she will help them with whatever challenges come their way.
The trailer for Eva Aridjis’ documentary on vimeo expresses this all perfectly.
© Marcus Sedgwick April 2017
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