Contact: Hersch Wilson at (505) 310-8704
Hersch Wilson is a Santa Fe, New Mexico-based writer. “Test of Faith” is his fifth book and first novel. His last book, “Playing To Win” was an award-winning best seller.
Hersch attended Colorado College, and quit during his junior year to pursue a career in theater and dance. After wandering the theatrical world living out of a suitcase for ten years, he eventually graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1979 with a BA in English.
He and his wife Laurie moved from Minnesota to Santa Fe in the winter of 1984. “It was a pivotal moment for me. I brought all my Minnesota, midwestern, middle class baggage with me to New Mexico. This place transformed the way I saw everything. I came here thinking that the future, work and rules were priorities and in one of my first Santa Fe encounters, I was quickly disabused of those ideas. History, family, land, and religion are what is important here. If you don’t embrace those realities, this place will spit you out.”
Since moving to New Mexico, Hersch and Laurie have raised two daughters (both green chile addicted natives) and have long since adjusted to the land of dirt roads, pickup trucks, rattlesnakes and wildfires.
"I came here as a writer, ex-dancer, business guy, and pilot and now I am a writer and firefighter. New Mexico transforms you.”
Transformation, religion and murder are at the core of Test of Faith. “I have always thought that the collision of the religious and the secular worlds is still one of the most important struggles we have today. For most of us, it’s an abstraction. I wanted to understand it at a personal level, and that’s the story of Beneficio Rael and Dr. Harry Spencer, the protagonists in “Test Of Faith.” This is a story that can only take place in New Mexico, because it is such an evocatively spiritual place. It is the crossroads of many faiths; Native American, Catholic, Penitente and even the Conversos, the hidden Jews. It is not possible to live here without sensing the constant jostling of religions, cultures and spirituality.”
Hersch is currently working on his next book, Responding, Zombie Cow Kicks Cowboy: A Nonfiction Novel of Volunteer Firefighters, to be released in November, 2011.
Test of Faith
Benefico Augustin Rael is a world famous painter, charismatic, eccentric and wildly talented, at the top of his profession. His New Mexican landscapes and vivid images of small village churches have captured the imaginations of thousands. Then, the spirit world returns to Beneficio. Otherworldly messengers, constant companions of his youth, whose whispered words and unearthly visions shaped him, have returned to remind him that his talent, his riches, his family are not his but God’s, and God demands obedience above all else. The last time the angels came to Benificio, there was revenge and murder in the name of God. Now they are whispering to him again to do the unspeakable. There are only two people who can stop him: his eldest daughter, Paloma, beautiful, wild and outspoken;; and Dr. Harry Spencer, Beneficio’s troubled psychiatrist. Together they race against the odds to avert heart-breaking tragedy. As the immense horror of Beneficio’s plans is gradually revealed, those who love him struggle to answer the question: Is this a true Test of Faith or has Beneficio gone completely mad?