La Ranfla & Other New Mexico Stories


Publisher: Papalote Press, Corrales, NM
Pub Date: Sept 16, 2009
Cloth: ISBN: 978-097558814-7
Paperback: ISBN: 978-097558815-4
Pages: 202 including glossary



Cover photograph: Black Mesa, NM, looking east
from Fred Cata’s 1957 Chevy Belair, July, 1987
by Alex Harris

Book and Cover Design by Barbara Haines

SKU: N/A Category:


Award winning author Martha Egan presents a collection of seven short stories in which she explores the ways of an ancient place where nothing ever seems to change. In New Mexico’s landscape of high desert plains, adobe villages, and farmsteads nestled in the folds of piñón green mountains—even in centuries old cities sprawling into modern shopping mall culture—time seems to stand still.

Take the title story, “La Ranfla” (slang for a vintage car, often a lowrider), which follows newly arrived hippies as they learn to play by New Mexican rules. In “Carnales” why does a grudge lasting generations end with a standoff in a tiny rural cemetery?

Española vet Rosalía Martínez rescues a battered stray dog she names “Mutt” that changes her life forever. In “Granny” a broken down MGB strands a college boy in a border town, where local life proves to be unexpectedly seductive.

Step into another way of understanding time and place in these delightful tales. They may be set in New Mexico but they resonate with basic human truths that transcend the limits of regionalism.


Our third title, La Ranfla and Other New Mexico Stories, was a Finalist for Book of the Year (Short Stories) for ForeWord Magazine; a Category Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award; and a Finalist for Book Design, Southwest Book Reviews (Thank you, Barbara Haines). La Ranfla also won a Bronze IPPY Award for West-Mountain Regional Fiction and a New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Fiction from The New Mexico Book Co-op. And “Popcorn,” Martha Egan’s stand-alone short story for young adults, received an Honorable Mention for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for Short Fiction, from Women Writing the West.

Author Blurbs:

“There is only one New Mexico!  And there’s only one Martha Egan. Híjole, her book, La Ranfla and Other New Mexican Stories, is full of wild magic and the unconquered, unvanquished human spirit that will foster in all its readers a love for a place that is still the Wild West. Only someone who knows los ins y los outs can tell this story.  Orale, Comadrita, the ride is really good.”
—Denise Chávez, author of A Taco Testimony, Meditations on Family, Food and Culture.

“In La Ranfla, Martha Egan captures the quirkiness of Northern New Mexico in a series of colorfully drawn short stories rich with wonderfully authentic characters. It’s a fine, fine ride.”
—Anne Hillerman, author of Santa Fe Flavors and Hillerman’s Landscape: On the Road with an American Legend.

“The literary equivalent of a green chile fix, this collection of Martha Egan’s is just as addicting—a liberal serving of what it feels like to live in New Mexico—the Land of Entrapment—especially as a gringa.”
—Christine Mather, author of Christine Mather’s Santa Fe Christmas.


“Genuine N.M. characters populate Egan’s world. Though the characters in these seven stories are fictional, Egan creates such believable portraits of New Mexicans that you think that they’re real people.”
-David Steinberg, Albuquerque Journal, Sunday, October 11, 2009.

“The seven short stories in Martha Egan’s La Ranfla and Other New Mexico Stories …have a regional base but also deal with situations everyone experiences in one way or the other: how long-standing arguments fade when backs are to a wall; how we learn how to be who we are and also stand up for ourselves; and how a sudden accident or change of plans can set even the most orchestrated life into new motion.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican: Pasatiempo, October 30, 2009.