Sandro F. Piedrahita

Sandro Francisco Piedrahita is an American Catholic author of Peruvian and Ecuadorian descent, with a degree in Comparative Literature from Yale College. Most of his stories revolve around Latin American mythical or historic themes, told with a modern twist. Mr. Piedrahita's short stories have been accepted for publication in The Write Launch, The Acentos Review, Hive Avenue Literary Journal, Carmina Magazine, Synchronized Chaos, The Ganga Review, Limit Experience Journal and Foreshadow Magazine.

Parable of the Persistent Widow

When Carlito’s son suffocated to death in the back seat of his father’s brand-new Mercedes SUV, Caridad García felt all her suspicions had been confirmed. Maybe her son’s sudden fame and fortune were not a blessing but a curse. Everything had happened so quickly since the release of Carlito’s single “Love a la Cubana,” a song sung in English to a salsa beat.
Long Short Story

A Few Notes on the Structure of a Short Story

This essay is not meant to be a work of literary criticism, but as a guide to beginning writers about structure in a short story and how they can approach it when they write.
Essay
April 2024 Issue

¡Viva Cristo Rey!

The two brothers did not sleep that cold September night, for they knew in the morning they would both face the firing squad. One would be executed for having assassinated President-elect Alvaro Obregón, the other simply for being a priest.
Long Short Story
April 2024 Issue

Baptism of Blood

Death appeared in the town of Markowa in March of 1942, and Aleksander and Julia both saw her at the same time. From a distance, she looked like a beautiful woman, a lovely Aryan maiden, but the closer she came to them the uglier and uglier she became.
Long Short Story
March 2024 Issue

Tipping Points in Fiction

Ever since the publication in 2000 of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point – about tipping points in the world of business – the term has been used increasingly in a variety of settings. Sociologists speak of tipping points when a community has so many minority members that white flight begins. Climate experts speak of tipping points when climate change becomes irreversible. Physicians write of tipping points in determining when a disease becomes an epidemic. What I haven’t found yet is a full-length book on the issue of tipping points in fiction, a discussion which is sorely lacking, for tipping points are an essential element in any work of fiction.
Essay
March 2024 Issue

How to Write a Work of Magic Realism

As a preliminary matter, let me state that I do not believe in “rules” for writing fiction and certainly not for writing works of magic realism. The following essay will provide guidelines and nothing more. I will be describing what I have learned by writing short stories using magic realism and hopefully give you some ideas as to how to do the same.
Essay
January 2024 Issue

The Feminine Brigades of Saint Joan of Arc

The two Cristeros were sitting at the Abajeño Cantina in central Guadalajara after having spent several months in the mountains of Jalisco waging war against the military forces of the anticlerical President Plutarco Elías Calles.
Long Short Story
January 2024 Issue

The Ecstasies of Adalenie Santaliz

Now that she is gone – meningitis in a Brazilian convent – perhaps it will be easier to put everything into perspective. Perhaps now I can figure out what I never fully understood while she was alive.
Long Short Story
January 2024 Issue

The Twelve-Year Chaqwa: A Time of Suffering and Chaos

The Seduction of Javier Pardo
In France, I met Irving Rivera, a Puerto Rican born in New York City, about twenty years older than me. He lived on the same floor as I did in the Maison Américaine at the Cité Universitaire in Paris. I saw him often, since there was a cafeteria in the basement of the dorm room, where both he and I often ate. We gravitated toward a group of Spanish-speaking friends, some Latin American but mostly Spaniards, who also lived at the huge American dormitory. I would also regularly see Irving on a table in the plaza behind the Maison Américaine, with a sign saying, “Independence for Puerto Rico Now!” He requested donations, ostensibly to help rid Puerto Rico of its American colonial masters.
Novel Excerpts
October 2023 Issue

The Twelve-Year Chaqwa: A Time of Suffering and Chaos

Semper Mariá: A Tale of Hunger and Terror
Like the original mother Mary, Mariá Elena Moyano – known affectionately as la negra by the masses – was considered a mother not just to her own two sons, whom she adored, but also to the thousands of children of Villa El Salvador, the largest shantytown in Lima. She had run hundreds of communal kitchens and the extensive Glass of Milk program since her days as president of the Women’s Federation of Villa El Salvador. By February of 1992, by which time she was vice-mayor of the town of three hundred thousand people, the program delivered a glass of milk each day to sixty thousand children and elderly who would otherwise succumb to malnutrition.
Novel Excerpts
October 2023 Issue

The Twelve-Year Chaqwa: A Time of Suffering and Chaos

Rómulo and Julissa
When Rómulo and Julissa met at the Salsodromo, not knowing that was the moment when the past and the future were forever riven asunder, they both blatantly lied to each other, knowing there was nothing else to do. Each of them had an inadmissible secret. Rómulo could not tell Julissa he was a lieutenant in the Peruvian military. The Shining Path had “a thousand eyes and ears,” and if he disclosed he was a soldier, his life would be in mortal danger.
Novel Excerpts
September 2023 Issue

Trotsky in Mexico

I now see everything through the prism of my own destruction. As I lie here in the hospital room without my recently amputated leg, I realize that my life will also be amputated in a similar macabre manner. The past and the future are forever riven asunder by a simple and irrefutable fact: my body is now incomplete, and my soul is soon to follow. I write because the circumstances require my sincerity even if it pains you.
Short Story
August 2023 Issue

Priestess, Traitor, Enemy, Saint

Comrade Juana understood Comrade Bárbara’s belief that Sister Rosemarie McKillop, the diminutive nun from Perth, Australia, posed a great threat to the success of the Shining Path. Like many priests and nuns, like many human rights organizations, like the democratic left, Sister Rosemarie offered the destitute masses of Perú an alternative to the armed struggle. She preached that the marginalized campesinos could achieve justice through peaceful methods and even distributed food to the poor from “imperialist” charitable organizations like Caritas. Such conduct had to be quashed, for such groups were inimical to the revolution.
Long Short Story
Issue 75

The Private War of Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Huamán

Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Huamán’s first encounter with the Shining Path guerrillas was a lot more complicated than he had ever anticipated when he was being trained to become a soldier for Perú. A policeman had made a desperate call to the military headquarters at Huanta. More than seventy rebels had attacked the police station in the town of Guindas, crying out, “Viva Mao! Viva Presidente Gonzalo! Viva Comrade Carlos!”
Short Story
Issue 73

Puka Inti

There were some – not many – who refused to believe Presidente Gonzalo was dead after so many years of terrorism, after he had said that he was willing to see a million Peruvians be killed in order to see the triumph of his revolution. And it was not his followers who believed that, but those he had decimated, those whose parents and children had been killed at his orders.
Short Story
Issue 70

Sandro F. Piedrahita

Sandro Francisco Piedrahita is an American Catholic author of Peruvian and Ecuadorian descent, with a degree in Comparative Literature from Yale College. Most of his stories revolve around Latin American mythical or historic themes, told with a modern twist. Mr. Piedrahita's short stories have been accepted for publication in The Write Launch, The Acentos Review, Hive Avenue Literary Journal, Carmina Magazine, Synchronized Chaos, The Ganga Review, Limit Experience Journal and Foreshadow Magazine.

Parable of the Persistent Widow

When Carlito’s son suffocated to death in the back seat of his father’s brand-new Mercedes SUV, Caridad García felt all her suspicions had been confirmed. Maybe her son’s sudden fame and fortune were not a blessing but a curse. Everything had happened so quickly since the release of Carlito’s single “Love a la Cubana,” a song sung in English to a salsa beat.
Long Short Story

A Few Notes on the Structure of a Short Story

This essay is not meant to be a work of literary criticism, but as a guide to beginning writers about structure in a short story and how they can approach it when they write.
Essay
April 2024 Issue

¡Viva Cristo Rey!

The two brothers did not sleep that cold September night, for they knew in the morning they would both face the firing squad. One would be executed for having assassinated President-elect Alvaro Obregón, the other simply for being a priest.
Long Short Story
April 2024 Issue

Baptism of Blood

Death appeared in the town of Markowa in March of 1942, and Aleksander and Julia both saw her at the same time. From a distance, she looked like a beautiful woman, a lovely Aryan maiden, but the closer she came to them the uglier and uglier she became.
Long Short Story
March 2024 Issue

Tipping Points in Fiction

Ever since the publication in 2000 of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point – about tipping points in the world of business – the term has been used increasingly in a variety of settings. Sociologists speak of tipping points when a community has so many minority members that white flight begins. Climate experts speak of tipping points when climate change becomes irreversible. Physicians write of tipping points in determining when a disease becomes an epidemic. What I haven’t found yet is a full-length book on the issue of tipping points in fiction, a discussion which is sorely lacking, for tipping points are an essential element in any work of fiction.
Essay
March 2024 Issue

How to Write a Work of Magic Realism

As a preliminary matter, let me state that I do not believe in “rules” for writing fiction and certainly not for writing works of magic realism. The following essay will provide guidelines and nothing more. I will be describing what I have learned by writing short stories using magic realism and hopefully give you some ideas as to how to do the same.
Essay
January 2024 Issue

The Feminine Brigades of Saint Joan of Arc

The two Cristeros were sitting at the Abajeño Cantina in central Guadalajara after having spent several months in the mountains of Jalisco waging war against the military forces of the anticlerical President Plutarco Elías Calles.
Long Short Story
January 2024 Issue

The Ecstasies of Adalenie Santaliz

Now that she is gone – meningitis in a Brazilian convent – perhaps it will be easier to put everything into perspective. Perhaps now I can figure out what I never fully understood while she was alive.
Long Short Story
January 2024 Issue

The Twelve-Year Chaqwa: A Time of Suffering and Chaos

The Seduction of Javier Pardo
In France, I met Irving Rivera, a Puerto Rican born in New York City, about twenty years older than me. He lived on the same floor as I did in the Maison Américaine at the Cité Universitaire in Paris. I saw him often, since there was a cafeteria in the basement of the dorm room, where both he and I often ate. We gravitated toward a group of Spanish-speaking friends, some Latin American but mostly Spaniards, who also lived at the huge American dormitory. I would also regularly see Irving on a table in the plaza behind the Maison Américaine, with a sign saying, “Independence for Puerto Rico Now!” He requested donations, ostensibly to help rid Puerto Rico of its American colonial masters.
Novel Excerpts
October 2023 Issue

The Twelve-Year Chaqwa: A Time of Suffering and Chaos

Semper Mariá: A Tale of Hunger and Terror
Like the original mother Mary, Mariá Elena Moyano – known affectionately as la negra by the masses – was considered a mother not just to her own two sons, whom she adored, but also to the thousands of children of Villa El Salvador, the largest shantytown in Lima. She had run hundreds of communal kitchens and the extensive Glass of Milk program since her days as president of the Women’s Federation of Villa El Salvador. By February of 1992, by which time she was vice-mayor of the town of three hundred thousand people, the program delivered a glass of milk each day to sixty thousand children and elderly who would otherwise succumb to malnutrition.
Novel Excerpts
October 2023 Issue

The Twelve-Year Chaqwa: A Time of Suffering and Chaos

Rómulo and Julissa
When Rómulo and Julissa met at the Salsodromo, not knowing that was the moment when the past and the future were forever riven asunder, they both blatantly lied to each other, knowing there was nothing else to do. Each of them had an inadmissible secret. Rómulo could not tell Julissa he was a lieutenant in the Peruvian military. The Shining Path had “a thousand eyes and ears,” and if he disclosed he was a soldier, his life would be in mortal danger.
Novel Excerpts
September 2023 Issue

Trotsky in Mexico

I now see everything through the prism of my own destruction. As I lie here in the hospital room without my recently amputated leg, I realize that my life will also be amputated in a similar macabre manner. The past and the future are forever riven asunder by a simple and irrefutable fact: my body is now incomplete, and my soul is soon to follow. I write because the circumstances require my sincerity even if it pains you.
Short Story
August 2023 Issue

Priestess, Traitor, Enemy, Saint

Comrade Juana understood Comrade Bárbara’s belief that Sister Rosemarie McKillop, the diminutive nun from Perth, Australia, posed a great threat to the success of the Shining Path. Like many priests and nuns, like many human rights organizations, like the democratic left, Sister Rosemarie offered the destitute masses of Perú an alternative to the armed struggle. She preached that the marginalized campesinos could achieve justice through peaceful methods and even distributed food to the poor from “imperialist” charitable organizations like Caritas. Such conduct had to be quashed, for such groups were inimical to the revolution.
Long Short Story
Issue 75

The Private War of Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Huamán

Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Huamán’s first encounter with the Shining Path guerrillas was a lot more complicated than he had ever anticipated when he was being trained to become a soldier for Perú. A policeman had made a desperate call to the military headquarters at Huanta. More than seventy rebels had attacked the police station in the town of Guindas, crying out, “Viva Mao! Viva Presidente Gonzalo! Viva Comrade Carlos!”
Short Story
Issue 73

Puka Inti

There were some – not many – who refused to believe Presidente Gonzalo was dead after so many years of terrorism, after he had said that he was willing to see a million Peruvians be killed in order to see the triumph of his revolution. And it was not his followers who believed that, but those he had decimated, those whose parents and children had been killed at his orders.
Short Story
Issue 70