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Mexican Kaleidoscope - Myths, Mysteries & Mystique. A review of Tony Burton's newest book. Reviewed by Rita Pomade

Tony Burton’s recently published Mexican Kaleidoscope is a whirlwind trip through some of the underpinnings of Mexican culture, told with humour, affection and well-documented facts. This readable compendium of little known stories made me want to revisit many places I’d already seen. How much richer my experiences would have been had I been able to take this user-friendly and easily carried tome of gems with me when I was in Mexico. read more

Discovering Clues to the Legacy of a Mexican Poet: Manuel Rocha y Chabre Joseph A. Serbaroli, Jr.

Several years ago, I was rummaging through a box of family photos with my dad, when he showed me an old, yellowing image of his mother from 1908. He told me it was taken in Mexico at the wedding of her cousin, the poet and playwright Manuel Rocha y Chabre. read more

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in poetry — Shooting Script: Door of Fire Reviewed by James Tipton

Shooting Script: Door of Fire is a sequence of poems about several "heroes:" Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Leon Trotsky, with bit parts from Trotsky's wife Natalia, actress Paulette Goddard, surrealist Andre Breton and others.We see them — Diego, Frida, Leon — as if we are watching them through a camera lens. Three people driven by obsessions. read more

Mexico's gift to opera, Rolando Villazon Maggie Van Ostrand

Emilio Rolando Villazón Mauleón is the world's next great tenor, at least equal to Placido Domingo, but easier on the eyes and with far more dramatic gifts. You don't have to know anything about opera to appreciate Villazón's voice. When you hear him sing, your jaw drops, your eyes glaze over, and the hairs on your arm stand to attention. This, I thought, is a voice for the ages. I felt like Al Capone must have felt the first time he heard the voice of Enrico Caruso. Villazón was born in 1972 in the Mexico City suburb of Fuentes de Satellite. read more

Mexico's Nobel Prize winners James Tipton

Did you know the Nobel Prize has been awarded three times to Mexican citizens? read more

The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire by C. M. Mayo Reviewed by James Tipton

 
In 1864 the Archduke Maximilian von Habsburg, accompanied by his ambitious and beautiful wife Charlotte, arrives in Mexico City. Louis Napoleon had previously sent thousands of French troops to the financially and politically unstable country. Even though Mexico is ruled by a democratically elected president, Benito Juárez, Maximilian is installed as Emperor of Mexico. Juárez must go into hiding. read more

Did You Know? Consuelo Velázquez and "Bésame mucho". Tony Burton

The song "Bésame mucho" (Kiss me a lot) was written by a young Mexican woman who had never been kissed. This article is a tribute to Consuelo Velázquez, who died January 22, 2005, at the age o... read more

Did You Know? Popular children's chorus features cockroaches and pot smoking Tony Burton

La Cucaracha (The Cockroach), one of Mexico's best known corridos, is a comic, satirical song, with infinite possibilities for creative verses. Versions of La Cucaracha have been performed by countless bands and musicians, including Louis Armstrong, Bill Haley & His Comets, Doug Sahm read more

Frida: A Novel Based on the Life of Frida Kahlo by Barbara Mujica Reviewed by Allan Cogan

"Although events in Mexican history and in Frida's life provide the general framework, many incidents and characters portrayed here are the author's inventions. Although many of Frida's biographers mention her younger sister, Christina, I have reinvented the youngest Kahlo girl to make her a perspicacious witness to Frida's life. My intention in writing Frida was to capture the essence of Frida Kahlo's personality, not to document her life. I was particularly interested in what it might be like to be the unexceptional sister of such an exceptional woman…." read more

Cantinflas, the castillo and ponche in the plaza Wendy Devlin

As the evening mass ended, the huge colonial doors of Santa Maria Magdalena swung open. People swarmed down the church stairs into the plaza. I moved along with the crowd to a wrought iron bench.... read more
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