In the Temples of My Fathers

Organization of the Book

In the Temples of My Fathers is unusual because it is an illuminated and illustrated novel rather than "just" words. That is to say, I have been working on this book for some 14 years and have created some 18,000 instances of calligraphy, illuminations, paintings, and symbols which support the main text. The downloads are pdf files, one pdf per chapter. Though I saved these files on maximum compression, the files are big (~20 megs each) and take time to download. You can read these onscreen or print them and read on paper.

You don't have to know a thing about Mayan culture to read and enjoy the book; everything you need is explained during the book. Just download the prologue and read it, and don't sweat all the illuminations. For those who want to dig deeper into the Mayan cultural stuff, it's explained below. Enjoy, and drop me an email to let me know what you think. I'm seeking a publisher for this work; it's my fourth book and the best I've yet written!

The Family from In the Temples of My Fathers

3 Rabbit CabCoh Yax Chan CabCoh Atlatla CabCoh Maxam CabCoh
3 Rabbit CabCoh Yax Chan CabCoh Atlatla CabCoh Maxam CabCoh

Here It Is

Here is the whole book, as a series of PDF files, in order of reading:

Prologue: A Kernel
Chapter One: Planting
Story One: The Three Hunters and the Spirit of the Dead Boy
Chapter Two: Sprouts
Story Two: The Time the Babies Grew Fangs and Hunted Their Parents
Chapter Three: First Weeding
Story Three: Mother Moon is Torn in Half, and Her Blood Creates Maize
Chapter Four: Light and Heat
Story Four: The Time Father Sun Killed All The Boys
Chapter Five: Growing
Story Five: The War Between the Cities
Chapter Six: Weeding
Story Six: The Night of Spirits
Chapter Seven: Ripening
Story Seven: The Great Sacrifice on 13 K'awil
Chapter Eight: Harvest
Story Eight: Sacnik and the Fresh Chocolate
Chapter Nine: Burning
Story Nine: Lady Xul's Vision
Epilogue: Ashes

Why The Chapters are Named as They Are

The Maya people called themselves both "the people of the sun" and "the people of maize," so I named the chapters as the character would name them, after the phases of the maize growing cycle. The stories are of course named to be reasonably descriptive of what they are about.

The Music of In the Temples of My Fathers

I like to listen to music while I'm writing. Not tracks with vocals, which distract, but instrumentals. I bought a number of albums while writing my novel and played them while I was working on the book. I still own these albums and want to recommend them to those who like similar ambience experiences while reading or just for easy listening. Accordingly, here is a list of the albums associated with this book, all of which fall under the categories New Age/AmerIndian music:

Temple of the Dream Jaguar (Native Flute Ensemble)
Gathering of Shamen (Native Flute Ensemble)
Enchanted Canyons (Native Flute Ensemble)
Flight of the Jaguar (various)
Bonampak (ah-Kin)
Obsidian Butterfly (Alice Gomez)
Singing Earth (Xavier Quijas Yxayotl)

All the Mayan Stuff

As you look at the pages of the narrative chapters of the book it won't take you long to see that they are all very similar in layout. This design is patterned after the 4 surviving Mayan books that we have from the middle ages, before the Spaniards conquered the New World and put the Mayan libraries to the torch. Incredibly, only 4 Mayan books survived the purges of the friars who accompanied the conquistadores to the New World and set themselves the task of converting the natives to Christianity. You can find examples of these on the internet if you're interested, their names are: the Paris Codex, the Madrid Codex, the Dresden Codex and the Grolier Codex. My book is a synthesis of the Mayan book styles that we have, with a few of my own ideas thrown in. Essentially I asked myself, "How would an educated Maya Indian with a macintosh and understanding of layout and design have designed a book?" Well, he would have patterned it off books such as the Dresden Codex that he saw in his uncle's house as he was growing up, and he would have patterned it off the ceramic art he saw all around him, and the murals on the walls of the god house and the mat house where the powerful men meet. I have tried to remain faithful to the Mayan styles, though I was not not particularly rigid. The Mayan books we have are almanacs, not novels, so they have a lot more short bodies of text than does a novel. If you have interest in the design of books, Mayan art, Mayan books, etc., drop me a line and let's chat. I love this stuff and did a masters degree in anthropology with a study of the Maya as my main interest, and it's always a pleasure to discuss these matters with interested people.

Randal Doering
My Publications
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Creative Commons License
In the Temples of My Fathers by Randal Doering is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at