The Marvellous Adventure of Cabeza de Vaca
In November 1528 a group of Spanish soldiers are washed ashore in the Gulf of Mexico. The leader of the expedition was Cabeza de Vaca and he would spend eight years travelling across North America, enduring starvation and enslavement, to return to his home.
Based on a true story, but effused with Haniel Long’s poetry, this novella is comparable to Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet in its understanding of what men can do when they must do something or die. It is a testimony to mankind’s ability to help each other.
Also included is Long’s Malinche, the story of a slave girl who served as Cortes’s translator during his conquest of Mexico. Long’s gifts as a poet bring a magical quality to the telling of this story. Malinche comes to embody the image of the ideal woman that all men carry in their hearts.
“The Marvellous Adventure retells one shameful episode in the history of class, race and colonisation. But Long gives de Vaca a redeeming vision of individual responsibility still relevant today. Henry Miller was right to call this book ‘a bright spot in the history of man’”
“This little book is a gem like Jean Giono’s The Man Who Planted Trees, Saint-Expury’s The Little Prince or Jim Dodge’s Fup, that through the force of its brevity remains with you far longer than many much lengthier books.”
“Two edifying episodes… deeply felt and delicately written, they have all the ingredients to become a cult.”
“A tiny gem of a book… eloquent narrative that seeps around you and into every pore. It’s the most humbling of reads… The most powerfully condensed amount of humility and wisdom you are ever likely to find crammed into a mere thirty-nine pages.”
‘dovegreyreader’, one of Britain’s leading book blogs
“De Vaca discovered in himself not only the power to work miracles but the humility to respect and ultimately love the Indian, and the courage to proclaim his brotherhood. The Marvellous Adventure of Cabeza de Vaca is the poet Haniel Long’s brilliant reconstruction of this conversion… (it) has inspired a cult.”