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Mexico

Illustration by Abigail Piña Rocha Carlisle

Murmurs on the Plain

Rulfo’s literary reputation rests on just two slim books—the short story collection El Llano en llamas (The Plain in Flames), first published in 1953, and the novel Pedro Páramo, released two years later. Pedro Páramo would arguably go on to become the defining novel of Mexico’s twentieth century, inspiring the writers of Latin America’s “Boom” generation and helping to usher in a new age of literature across the continent.

Illustration by Kate Lacour

Glossology

Who looks in your mouth? Nobody. That cozy little cavern is designed for darkness and privacy. When the mouth is open, we glimpse occasional bits of action in what is technically called the vestibule, and are struck by the intimacy of what we have seen.

Photography by Mary Anne Andrei

Ted Genoways’s Notes to Self

Land grabs and blood feuds, ambushes and priests on the run: Few periods are as unhinged as the thirty-five years Genoways covers in his current work, a chronicle of the tequila industry that homes in on the period between the beginnings of the Mexican Revolution and World War II. Genoways says that the process of assembling Romo’s story was typical of the research for the book overall. Traditional sources have been spotty at best: Journalistic oppression, by both the government and powerful families, runs deep in Mexico, riddling newspapers with frustrating silences; and decades of political instability meant that official documents were either not kept or destroyed.

Illustration by Corey Brickley

Dixon

A star-smeared night, the usual briny and humid haze of the brush country in August, and Dixon was hauling twenty cases of stolen toys up from the Rio Grande valley. If the border patrol at the Sarita checkpoint asked, he’d claim a delivery mix-up.

Illustration by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Travel Journals

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is well known as a poet and artist, publisher of fellow Beat writers, and cofounder of City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. But his extensive notebooks in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, cast [...]

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