The hard cover binding. Click on this and the other images below to enlarge.

The soft cover binding

The title page


Is Pleased to Announce a New Publication

The Defeat of Grandfather Devil

From the Twelfth-Century Spanish Shepherds’ Play  As Performed Yearly at Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico

Translated & Adapted by Josefina Niggli

With Illustrations by Artemio Rodriguez

Edited, & with an Afterword, by William M. Fisher

Buen Dia!

The Book Club of Texas proudly announces the publication of

The Defeat of Grandfather Devil, a one-act play by Josefina Niggli based on the pastorela tradition of the Texas-Mexico border.

The book celebrates both the holiday season and the centenary of the author’s birth.

Niggli was born in Monterrey and raised in Northern Mexico, save for periods she spent in Texas to escape the Mexican Revolution. She moved to the United States for good in 1925, taking high school and college degrees in San Antonio. In 1935 she joined the Carolina Playmakers and soon gained fame as a playwright and novelist who presented a realistic, nuanced and sympathetic view of life in Mexico. Her major books are Mexican Folk Plays (1938), Mexican Village (1945), Step Down, Elder Brother (1947), and A Miracle for Mexico (1964).

At her death in 1983, Niggli left a number of works unpublished. The Defeat of Grandfather Devil is the most charming to come to light so far and belongs among the best of her one-act plays.

The play is based on Los Pastores, which has been performed at Christmastime for centuries in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. It follows the travails of a hermit and group of herders as they learn of the birth of the Holy Infant and travel to Bethlehem, all the while harried by the scheming Grandfather Devil. Niggli’s adaptation bears the hallmarks of her best playwriting, especially the humorous banter between the sexes.

San Antonio attorney and book collector William M. Fisher contributes a detailed afterword that provides an overview of Niggli’s life and work, background on the pastorela tradition, and an analysis of how Niggli adapted a specific version of Los Pastores into The Defeat of Grandfather Devil.

The 40 page book measures 7 inches tall by 8.5 inches wide and is illustrated throughout with specially commissioned linocuts by noted Mexican artist and illustrator Artemio Rodriguez. It was designed and printed by Bradley Hutchinson on Hahnemühle Biblio mouldmade paper at his letterpress printing office in Austin, Texas. The typeface is Espinosa Nova with Espinosa Nova Rotunda, designed by Cristóbal Henestrosa and based on the types of Antonio de Espinosa, a printer active in Mexico City between 1551 and 1576.

350 copies were printed, 125 of which were bound in hard covers by Jace Graf at Cloverleaf Studio in Austin. The balance was issued in wrappers or unbound sheets. If you are interested in unbound sheets for your own custom binding projects, please contact

The Book Club.

25 copies were bound in semi-limp full vellum and housed in a drop-spine box by Craig Jensen and Gary McLerran at BookLab II in San Marcos, Texas. These special copies include an original print signed by the artist.

Prices are $45 (wrappers), $75 (hardcover), and $365 (semi-limp full vellum in box with signed print).  Texas residents please add 8.25% sales tax and $5 shipping for the first book and $1 for each additional book ordered. A portfolio of 15 original signed prints used for illustrations in the book is available for $500. Please make checks payable to The Book Club of Texas and mail to:

The Book Club of Texas

DeGolyer Library

Southern Methodist University

Box 750396

Dallas, Texas 75275

The special binding