Archive for Mexico

Pedro Jiménez & Matthew Gleeson, “EARTHLY DAYS BY JOSÉ REVUELTAS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, translated, novels, Mexico, latinx by skylightbooks on June 24th, 2020

Publisher Pedro Jiménez and translator Matthew Gleeson get together to discuss the first-ever English translation of José Revueltas's "most accomplished and controversial novel," Earthly Days.

Like Joyce, Revueltas allows the reader to view the inner depths of his characters; like Proust, he meticulously examines memories, thoughts, and feelings; like Dostoyevsky, he focuses his gaze on the darkest passages of the soul; like Sartre, he dwells on the nausea of existence; and like Simone de Beauvoir, he reflects on the possibility of a new woman, leftist and liberated. Revueltas preceded writers of the Latin American boom such as Cort zar, Garc a M rquez, and even Juan Rulfo, authors who achieved the reputation and fame that Revueltas was denied. If one may have differences with his style or ideology, the structure of the book is impeccable. Each chapter is a perfect story, woven together by an Ariadne-like thread that unites all parts. To conceptually define the book, I would have to coin the oxymoronic term "existentialist Marxism," because Revueltas never ceased to be a disciple of Marx; nevertheless, his vision of humanity is brutally negative and ferocious. In a world bereft of God, all that was left for him to describe was our earthly days, "atrocious human life.

Don Winslow, “The Border”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, Mexico by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2019

In Don Winslow’s explosive new novel, The Border, the highly anticipated conclusion to the epic Cartel trilogy (The Power of the Dog, 2005; The Cartel, 2015), the war has come home.

For over forty years, Art Keller has been on the front lines of America’s longest conflict: The War on Drugs. His obsession to defeat the world’s most powerful, wealthy, and lethal kingpin―the godfather of the Sinaloa Cartel, Adán Barrera―has left him bloody and scarred, cost him the people he loves, even taken a piece of his soul.

Now Keller is elevated to the highest ranks of the DEA, only to find that in destroying one monster he has created thirty more that are wreaking even more chaos and suffering in his beloved Mexico. But not just there.

Barrera’s final legacy is the heroin epidemic scourging America. Throwing himself into the gap to stem the deadly flow, Keller finds himself surrounded by enemies―men who want to kill him, politicians who want to destroy him, and worse, the unimaginable―an incoming administration that’s in bed with the very drug traffickers that Keller is trying to bring down. Art Keller is at war with not only the cartels, but with his own government. And the long fight has taught him more than he ever imagined. Now, he learns the final lesson―there are no borders.

Chloe Aridjis, “SEA MONSTERS” w/ Merritt Tierce

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels, Mexico by skylightbooks on March 5th, 2019

One autumn afternoon in Mexico City, seventeen-year-old Luisa does not return home from school. Instead, she boards a bus to the Pacific coast with Tomás, a boy she barely knows. He seems to represent everything her life is lacking--recklessness, impulse, independence.

Tomás may also help Luisa fulfill an unusual obsession: she wants to track down a traveling troupe of Ukrainian dwarfs. According to newspaper reports, the dwarfs recently escaped a Soviet circus touring Mexico. The imagined fates of these performers fill Luisa's surreal dreams as she settles in a beach community in Oaxaca. Surrounded by hippies, nudists, beachcombers, and eccentric storytellers, Luisa searches for someone, anyone, who will "promise, no matter what, to remain a mystery." It is a quest more easily envisioned than accomplished. As she wanders the shoreline and visits the local bar, Luisa begins to disappear dangerously into the lives of strangers on Zipolite, the "Beach of the Dead."

Meanwhile, her father has set out to find his missing daughter. A mesmeric portrait of transgression and disenchantment unfolds. Chloe Aridjis's Sea Monsters is a brilliantly playful and supple novel about the moments and mysteries that shape us.

Aridjis is joined by Merritt Tierce, author of Love Me Back and writer for Netflix's Orange is the New Black.


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