Published On: Thu, Sep 6th, 2018

“Chelem Papers” a graceful face-off with the inevitable

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Yucatán Expat, Mr. Grant Spradling launches “Chelem Papers”, his new book in English, in which he reviews moments of his eight decades of life and dedicates it to Clifford A. Ames, who was his sentimental partner for half a century and died last January.

The work, edited by Hamaca Press, is added to the bibliography of the retired minister of the United Church of Christ, which also includes the collection of stories “From High in the Mulberry Tree” (published in 2005) and the novels ” Maya Sacrifice “(2012),” Palenque Murder “(2013) and” David Goes Home “(2015).

Thirty years ago he came to Yucatán for the first time to spend two weeks in a place where he could concentrate on writing. Some time later, he quit his job as Director of the Council of Fine Arts of Monroe County in Key West, Florida, to establish and settle down in “Maya Land”.

When asked why is books are not translated to Spanish, Spradling said: “Many inhabitants of Yucatán speak English fluently and I would love to reach that audience.”

(Photo: Diario de Yucatán)

Chelem is a small coastal town in Yucatán, Mexico. It is near Progreso and about 20 miles north of the state capital Mérida. It is not very large, and consists mostly of small houses and restaurants. 

Finally, Grant is questioned about the Merida and the state of Yucatan have changed in the last 30 years ago, and what is in his opinion the best part of living here?

“The first thing I would say is the Symphony Orchestra, I have noticed the changes there. I can tell that another world is emerging in Mërida, from which I know nothing. But there is an essential kindness that prevails, a kindness, an education that has not disappeared. If you’re walking down the street, and you make eye contact with another person, you nod and say: ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good afternoon’ it is recognized that a human being has been touched. And that has not been lost on most of the people in this land, ” Grant Spradling said.

If you want to buy Grant Spradling’s book “Chelem Papers”, click here

In Chelem Papers, Grant Spradling steps out of his quiet writing retreat on the Yucatán peninsula and invites us into graceful face-off with the inevitable. Not simply an old man’s reverie, the stories in Chelem Papers are an exploration of the issues we all face: the need for intimacy, the search for purpose, the call to love, the frailty of the body, the dazzling possibilities of the divine in us.

Spradling grabs us happily by the hand and pulls us into his extensive travels as a young man, his years as a pastor, his stint in New York as a professional singer and more. He dares to ask what the meaning of a life might be. Working often at the intersections of religion, art, and sexuality, Spradling’s stories have a clear message for readers of any age: In the end, it’s about love. —Chris Strickland, PhD.

TYT Newsroom with information from



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