Stories from Mexico City Youths in La Jornada

La Jornada has a selection of short stories form Mexico City youths in the juvenile justice system. It is an interesting collection and one is an eye to writers who one would probably never come across.Out of 360 stories submitted, they published around 10. This is from the first

Todo esto empezó el 28 de septiembre de 1992, en una familia pequeña, integrada por papá, mamá, tres varones y una niña, la más pequeña de la familia.

El piloto de esta familia era Mario, el papá. Él era el que decía la última palabra, pero no antes de consultar a mamá e hijos.

Todo marchaba muy bien. Claro, siempre había problemas, pero nada que no resolvieran papá o mamá.

Un día viernes por la noche como a eso de las 9:45. Mario llegó del trabajo muy agotado, apenas podía mantenerse de pie, se tiró al sillón como desmayado. Claudia, la mamá de la familia pensó: pobre de mi querido esposo, está muy cansado; Claudia le quitó los zapatos y los acomodó abajo en un rincón de su cama de Mario y Claudia.

Claudia agarró el último billete que les quedaba, que era uno de doscientos, se queda pensativa y dice en voz alta, ¡aunque se enoje Mario y me moje, tengo que ir a la panadería de Macario!

Market Place of Ideas Investigates Mexico City and Talks With Writer David Lida

The Market Place of Ideas has been focusing recently on Mexico City and has an interview with writer David Lida about his new book and his blog that focus on Mexico City. It sounds like an interesting listen. He also did an interview with Daniel Hernandez, author of Down and Delirious in Mexico City (Listen to it here The Marketplace of Ideas ) which I would recommend. Here are the show details:

The Marketplace of Ideas goes to Mexico City

Urban observer David Lida kicked off the new wave of books on el D.F.

This week on The Marketplace of Ideas, recorded live on location in Mexico City, I talk to David Lida, author of First Stop in the New World, Las llaves de la ciudad, Travel Advisory: Stories of Mexico, and the blog Mostly Mexico City. A native New Yorker, Lida moved to Mexico City in 1990 — a year considered by many to have been the megalopolis’ absolute nadir in terms of crime, crowding, and pollution — and hasn’t looked back, becoming the best-known English-language chronicler of el Distrito Federal in the 21st century.

The way I see it, one can’t help but get fascinated by Mexico City right now. My own fascination boiled to the point that I had no possible choice but to pay a visit to el Distrito Federal myself. You can read about my exploration of the city at (specifically under the “Mexico City” category), but you’ll do even better if you pick up the books I read in preparation for the trip: Rubén Gallo’s The Mexico City Reader, Daniel Hernandez’s Down and Delirious in Mexico City (be sure to catch him here on The Marketplace of Ideas too!), John Ross’ El Monstruo, and absolutely everything David Lida has written. Whether he’s using English or Spanish, whether he’s observing grand or minute urban phenomena, or whether he’s discussing something beautiful, frightful, or simply bizarre, he’s looked at Mexico City from the angle you want.

The General (El General) – A Review

The General is a documentary about Plutarco Elías Calles, the former President and revolutionary general. But in watching it you will not learn much about the man. Instead, what you learn is fleeting, brief, like the memories of his daughter whose voice describe what he and Mexico were like after the Revolution. The daughter’s memories and the bits of history that fill out his story are fragments of a larger story: the failure of the Revolution to live up to its promises.

The General is Calles’ great grand daughter’s attempt to discover who Calles was and what his legacy was. She looks not only at the historical sources, newspapers, her grandmother’s recorded memoirs, but the lives of the Mexicans in Mexico City. Did the brutality of his regime change anything? Did the Revolution itself change anything? The verdict is no. With 500,000 street vendors in Mexico City 80 years after his presidency, it is obvious what ever he left Mexico it didn’t work. The interviews with the people of Mexico City all come to one conclusion: nothing has changed and the rich still get away with everything while the poor still suffer.

The General is a must for anyone who is interested in Mexico. Although it isn’t a traditional history of Calles, the interweaving of history, memory and documentary makes for a good film.

New Issue of Under Hwy 99 Out Now

The new issue of Under Hwy 99 is out now. Isses 1.2 features my short non-fiction, Just a Handshake Is Enough,  about the time I met Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas in Mexico City. There are also short fictions from Evan Cleveland, Danny Brophy, Billie Louise Jones, Tara Brichetto, Ellie Keller, and Jim Bellarosa. It is worth the checking out this young literary magazine.

I also rebuilt the website which makes it much easier to read and use.