Book Culture in Oaxaca de Juárez

Oaxaca, Mexico’s fifth biggest state, is located in the southeast of the country. It is not only known for its size, but also for its ethnic diversity: More than 50 % of the population identify as indigenous. Fifteen distinct groups, the largest of whom are Zapotec and Mixtec, are recognized by the Mexican government, but many more exist without official acknowledgement. Book Culture in Oaxaca de Juárez weiterlesen

Literary Landmarks in Ciudad de México

Long strolls through Parque Chapultepec and vegan lunch at the cafeteria of a Hare Krishna temple – the memories of my first visit to Ciudad de México in 2014 make the city seem relaxed and peaceful. Upon my return, the impression is different. With 9 million inhabitants in the center and 20.4 million inhabitants in the greater urban area, Ciudad de México is the most populous city in North America. It takes the bus almost three hours to get from the first signs of sprawl to Terminal Central del Norte. But not just the size of the city, the language, too, poses more problems than expected. Without a travel companion fluent in Spanish, even simple, everyday things are difficult and exhausting. Nevertheless, the kindness of friends and fellow writers makes my stay worthwhile. Literary Landmarks in Ciudad de México weiterlesen

Valeria Luiselli: The Story of my Teeth

Gustavo Sánchez Sánchez, also known as Highway, is not only the self-proclaimed best auctioneer in the world, but also the proud owner of a large collection of exquisite memorabilia. Each piece has a story that gives it inestimable value. The most important item never leaves his body – Marilyn Monroe’s teeth adorn his mouth instead of his own. Valeria Luiselli: The Story of my Teeth weiterlesen

Tijuana: Not pretty, but fertile

The trolley from San Diego to Tijuana is packed in the middle of the day. We ride through the dry and dusty landscape for about twenty minutes before reaching the pedestrian border crossing. Most passengers walk straight towards border control while I stick around to exchange American dollars for Mexican pesos at a booth. In the hall of the practical grey building, people quickly pass through the processing point for American and Mexican passports. Members of other nationalities take a little longer. After thirty minutes, I step back into daylight in Mexico. Tijuana: Not pretty, but fertile weiterlesen

Héctor Tobar: The Barbarian Nurseries

After an argument over money ends badly, Scott Torres and Maureen Thompson leave their home in the Laguna Rancho Estates separately. Neither of them informs their housekeeper, Araceli Ramírez, who finds herself unwillingly in charge of their two sons. Three days and several miscommunications later, Araceli faces deportation Héctor Tobar: The Barbarian Nurseries weiterlesen

Books, Booths, and Burritos in San Francisco

Sometime during the 17-hour-trainride from Portland to San Francisco, the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest turn into the hills covered by yellow and green grasslands and bushes that surround the Bay Area. The change in landscape coincides with a change in culture. Books, Booths, and Burritos in San Francisco weiterlesen

Brian Doyle: Mink River

Brian Doyle’s fiction debut Mink River (Oregon State University Press, 2010) takes place in Neawanaka, a small, fictional village on the central Oregon coast whose indigenous origins reach back about 5000 years. Brian Doyle: Mink River weiterlesen