A wonderful, challenging, and enlightening journey has come to an end. Like every great project, it was made possible by the people who helped me along the way: My family, my friends, Eli, Eli’s family, the artists I read and the artists I met, my hosts, and, of course, the readers of this blog. Many thanks to you all. It will certainly not be my last literary travel project, so stay tuned for alerts from this site.
Michelle Marie Wallace is a San-Francisco-based writer working with themes of the border and healing in both her fiction and non-fiction. I had the chance to meet her twice on my journey: In San Francisco, where she co-hosted The Borderlands Lectura, and in Ciudad de México, where she lived for 13 months in 2016/17. Read one of her short stories here and a piece about her experiences during the earthquake in Ciudad de México in September 2017 here. Voices: Michelle Marie Wallace weiterlesen
I’m lying on my bed in an air-conditioned hostel room in Cancún with a half-read copy of the Popol Vuh next to me. I picked up the book detailing the Maya-Quiché creation myth and cosmology from a box of free stuff at a party in September 2015. At the time the idea of a journey through Canada, the US, and Mexico started forming in my mind. It’s the last day of that journey, I’m tired from traveling and exhausted from reading in Spanish. And I’m frustrated: During my entire time in Chiapas and Quintana Roo, I didn’t manage to find out anything about contemporary literature rooted in Maya culture. Searching for Stories in Southern Mexico weiterlesen
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
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 – instead of his own, his mouth sports the teeth of Marilyn Monroe. Valeria Luiselli: The Story of my Teeth weiterlesen
In the middle of the day, the trolley from San Diego to Tijuana is packed. 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
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 because she attempted to bring the children to their grandfather in L.A. Héctor Tobar: The Barbarian Nurseries weiterlesen
Irgendwann während der siebzehnstündigen Zugfahrt von Portland nach San Francisco werden die satten Wälder des pazifischen Nordwestens zu den mit gelb-grünen Wiesen und Büschen bewachsenen Hügeln der Bay Area. Ursprünglich war das Volk der Ohlone die größte indigene Gruppe südlich der Küsten-Salish-Nation. Zu ihnen gehörten auch die Yelamu, die die Gegend des heutigen San Francisco besiedelten, aber ihre Spuren sind nur noch schwer zu finden. Die Zeiten der Kolonisierung durch Spanien und die frühere Zugehörigkeit zu Mexiko sind dagegen weiterhin in vielen Orts- und Straßennamen sichtbar. Bücher, Boxen und Burritos in San Francisco weiterlesen