Fiction and Southwest

$12.95 hardcover

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Delivery: A Novel

Ben Daitz

Dr. Matt Dorgan felt there was something wrong with the baby even before it was born. He detected an abnormal fetal heart rate and when the baby boy arrived he just didn't look right. Little Calvin was born with profound cerebral palsy. His depressed mother has fantasies of killing him. His father, Junior Shiflett, a small-time drug dealer with an attitude, sees an opportunity to improve his life-style. Somebody is going to pay for the family's pain and suffering.
Ben Daitz's first novel is situated at the intersection between the best of intentions and the worst of consequences, between upward and downward mobility, between good medicine and bad mojo. Daitz, a physician who has worked in New Mexico for many years, knows the kinds of trouble people can get into, and he shows us a world of double-dealing and heart-break, from the hustle of Albuquerque to the seedy charm of Mogote an hour to the south, from doctors to lawyers to cops to dope dealers to fishing in the glorious streams of the mountains. This is a serious novel suffused with humor, uniting the diverse strands of life in the modern Southwest in a way that will remind readers of John Nichols.


Ben Daitz, M.D., is professor in the department of family, community, and emergency medicine at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. He is also a distinguished documentary filmmaker, an accomplished fiddle player, and a regular contributor to the science section of The New York Times.


"Calvin is the focal point of Delivery and is a metaphor for the imperfections and struggles of each character in this unflinchingly realistic story of survival and hope in an unforgiving landscape of despair."


Crosswinds Weekly

"I like Ben's book, Delivery, because it gets on with the story and doesn't try to spin off a politically correct fable, or straddle the fictional fence sacrificing the truth of his characters--it's about an Anglo doctor in a Hispanic village, and it strikes out in dangerous territory in southwestern fiction. Only a few books have handled the Anglo/Hispanic cross-over well. Ben does it superbly, with a fifteen round knock-out. A sheer pleasure to read!"


Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of A Place to Stand: The Making of a Poet and Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande

" Delivery is a fascinating, strangely luminescent and disturbing novel, written with great insight and compassion and a powerful love of New Mexico. It is a highly original and polished work that starts quietly and builds into a page turner impossible to put down...This first novel by Ben Daitz is accomplished, beautiful, and sure to instantly become a proud part of our distinguished Southwest literary tradition."


John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War

"Daitz examines the many facets of tragedy with grace, authenticity, and empathy. Dark and unstinting, but nonetheless infused with human warmth, Delivery is an impressive debut by a serious writer willing to ask big questions without apology or restraint."


Frank Huyler, M.D., author of The Laws of Invisible Things

"Daitz's powers of observation as a physician are displayed in his vividly descriptive passages. He can lyrically evoke the desert landscape, which in it beauty, can be a balm for the harsh realities of life. He is also adept at placing the reader into scene and action."


Albuquerque Journal

" Delivery is a spotlight on real people dealing with real hardships, and is compelling reading."


Roundup Magazine

" Delivery offers a serious and valuable portrait of the underside of the Land of Enchantment."


Southwest BookViews

" Delivery, by Ben Daitz, is a richly satisfying first novel."


ABQ arts, NM

5.5 x 8.5 in. 270 pages