Around a stable in the Bethlehem countryside the stories and characters of those who set out one night in the dead of winter in fascination at the prophecy of a child’s birth, heralded by miraculous and bizarre events, chase and multiply.
It is the night of the first Christmas. The announcements are precise: the child who will change everyone’s fortunes is about to be born. Many are waiting for him, gathered in the thick of the countryside, in front of a stable where the Passion of the Animals has always taken place. They are the last, the poor, the marginalized, for the first time dragged into History that until then had only recorded the lives of the powerful. And many fear it: the birth of the child promises to break the chains of privilege and ridicule the arrogance of the rich. As in the avant-garde, one cries and laughs along with the protagonists of a nativity scene poised between the traditional and the fantastic, the desire for justice-always frustrated-and the daily ordeal of men and women. Fathers, mothers, children, shepherds, prostitutes, soldiers, the poor in spirit, animals and the Magi come alive to tell their stories with wonder. They are small, extraordinary existences suspended between redemption and defeat, the promise of the kingdom of heaven and the cruelty of all time. Joshua Calaciura returns to his workshop of narratives with irony and poetry, shaping a feeling of wonder that animates the joys, loves, unhappiness, and adventure of life preserved and held in the “figures” eternally traveling in our clay cribs. One Night is a novel free of all restraint, sharpened in the poignant tension between the sacredness of lives and the fury of a literary imagination that respects and blanders, celebrates and desecrates.