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Woody Allen comes to the Chapala Lakeside Ed Tasca

It's called: "An Afternoon with Woody." Little-known works by the comic genius, Woody Allen. And it's a daring attempt to bring the whacko, neurotic zaniness of Woody Allen to Mexico's Chapala Lakeside... read more

Huellas ...entre flores Dale Hoyt Palfrey

Most mothers in Mexico look forward to May 10 as a day to take it easy and be pampered by family. For Esperanza Perez, proprietress of Ajijic's most popular flower shop, the date means not only business as usual, but extra work and longer hours.

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Where Divergent Religious Customs Merge: Death Of An Infant In Oaxaca Alvin Starkman

Between the birth and the death came a crazy-quilt of only-in-Mexico experiences that resonated with my memories Daniel Pérez González was a beautiful baby. His parents Flor and Jo... read more

The Guaymas Chronicles: La Mandadera by David E. Stuart Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Although it's about Mexico, this one starts off in Ecuador in the 1960s where the author was doing doctoral fieldwork for a dissertation on haciendas in that country. His work took him to a remote research station on the side of a mountain seventy miles from electricity, running water, telephones, etc. One day while riding his horse along the side of a gorge, with the bottom of a canyon almost a thousand feet below him, the horse stumbled and fell. On its way over the edge it rolled over Stuart and disappeared, leaving him badly crippled. He was rescued and eventually found his way to Guaymas, on the coast of the Sea of Cortez, in Mexico, where his fiancé, Iliana, lived. Thus begins the story of his recuperation and, at the same time, the exploration of Mexican society and customs which is described here. read more

Mexico, a Traveller's Literary Companion by C. M. Mayo Reviewed by Allan Cogan

I've reviewed over a hundred books for Mexico Connect. These have covered the gamut of topics, all related to this country - fiction, travel, history, living in Mexico, moving to Mexico, biographies, city profiles and a few volumes difficult to categorize. I thought I had covered just about all aspects of the subject. Imagine my surprise, then, to suddenly be reminded of a sizeable slice of Mexicana that I had barely touched. Discovering it was like opening a door and walking into a brightly lit room filled with all kinds of literary treasures, all of which were produced in Mexico by active homegrown writers, many of whom are probably known to Mexican readers but not necessarily to outsiders like myself who need much more familiarity with Spanish in order to appreciate the breadth and scope of this country's literature. read more

The Salvation of La Purisima by T. M. Spooner Reviewed by Allan Cogan

The two cultures - Mexican and U.S. - come together in a thoughtful way in this interesting novel, which is set in both countries. The story concerns a group of Mexican illegal immigrants who travel north in May each year to work in the cherry orchards in northern Michigan. They are from the village of La Purísima in Michoacán. It's a community inhabited solely by elderly people and women and children during the picking season when all the men head north on what has become their annual rite of passage. It's perhaps more than that. read more

Agave Marias: Border Crossers, Boundary Breakers by the Lake Chapala Women Writers Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Here's an unusual volume with ten individual authors, each of whom is independent of the other nine except for the fact they all reside - either full or part-time - in the Lake Chapala area of Mexico. Their book consists of some 45 or more pieces of fiction and non-fiction plus a poem or three. The non-fiction includes travel tales, accounts of significant events in the authors' past lives, recollections of interesting people and other offbeat memoirs and anecdotes. read more

Wow, what a dance that was! Or que bailazo! Ed Fesler

"The Twenty-Two Music Professors" squared off against "The "Heavy Metal Charros," (Heavy Metal Cowboys) separated only by the four lanes of a major cross street. Batteries of powerful lights turned an ... read more

Mexican Mornings: Essays South of the Border by Michael Hogan Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Here's an interesting and entertaining collection of essays, mainly about Mexico, like "The Crawling Things of Paradise", a small tribute to all the crawling, flying, buzzing, poisonous, and non-poisonous insects to be found in the state of Jalisco. In the essay "Connections: Odysseus and the Gran Chingón" we find a quite learned investigation into the prevalence of machismo in Latin American society. On the more sober side there are copious references throughout - both critical and positive - to the Mexican natural environment, the economy and the Mexican character. read more

Mexican Lives by Judith Adler Hellman Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Ms. Hellman, who is a Professor of Political and Social Science at York University in Toronto, writes about fifteen Mexicans in all walks of life. They emerge as authentic and likeable people, coping with problems that you and I can scarcely imagine. The people she describes range from well-to-do agri-business people to maids; from industrialists to a coyote who has been successfully smuggling illegals into California almost every night of the week for the last few years. read more

Mexicans: Changing The Eastern Oregon Perspective Amanda Villagómez

Large families, devout Catholics, modest clothing, very poor - these are some of the common preconceived notions about Mexicans from a rural eastern Oregon perspective. However, such a view is limiting... read more

A writer's education from the mean streets of Mexico City Reviewed by Dean Gallagher

Plaza Garibaldi, 2 a.m., and the mean streets are bopping. Beers flowing. Flowing friends. Tequilas, too. Maybe a few too many. What the hell. You'll get a taxi ... You are a writer and this is a fi... read more

Why I love to dance Mexican style Ed Fesler

The Mexicans can’t dance my legs off, I’ll tell you that — oh, well, in the “barrios” they can, but there the dancing is more like Olympic gymnastics. If you’re just going out in the... read more

Mexican Etiquette and Ethics by Boye Lafayette de Mente Reviewed by Allan Cogan and Camille Collins

"The key to understanding the ‘Mexican Way’ of doing business is to recognize that business management in Mexico has traditionally been an application of cultural attitudes and customs - not the objective, pragmatic function that is associated with management in the United States and other practical-minded countries." read more

Consider This, Señora Reviewed by Allan Cogan

The highly improbable plot concerns two characters, Sue and Bud, who come together on a dried up mesa where there’s a lake and a nearby town. Sue is an artist, trying to find herself in Mexico. Bud is on the run from the IRS for non-payment of taxes. The two form a highly unlikely union and purchase ten acres of land in order to set up a business building houses on the slopes overlooking the lake. The story covers a few years in the lives of Sue and Bud. Other characters appear, of course. A few people do buy the houses that Bud builds. Such as the elderly Ursula who seems to have come to Mexico to die. And then there’s Fran, another lady with Mexican connections who wants to build a home in this unlikely place as a way to hang on to her handsome Mexican lover. There are also some locals who move in and out of the plot - the town mayor, a young doctor, maids, gardeners, etc. read more

The Mexicans: A personal portrait of a people Reviewed by Allan Cogan

Author Oster's portraits make this an excellent account of a timeless and yet changing Mexico. His approach is to focus on twenty varied individuals and use them as a reason to discuss the larger issues they represent. read more

Footprints in San Pedro Itzican Dale Hoyt Palfrey

As a home-based working mother I recently found myself faced with an annual quandary: how to keep my two restless pre-teens entertained over their summer holiday and simultaneously squeeze some quality... read more

Luz: Another village light in Mata Ortiz, Mexico Michael Allan Williams

Juan Mata Ortíz is a small village of potters, farmers and cowboys in Northern Chihuahua. About 30 years ago, an unschooled artistic genius, Juan Quezada, taught himself how to make ollas, eart... read more

In the parish church of San Andres Dale Hoyt Palfrey

The graceful 18th century Parroquia de San Andrés, is not only Ajijic's chief landmark, but also the hub around which village life revolves. It is the focal point for those important milestones that b... read more

Society's fascination with the wild outsider Reviewed by Anthony Wright

Immersed in the history of art and literature, weaved into the superstitions of the collective consciousness, and illumined by the silver screens of cinema, the Wild Man paradoxically basks in the ligh... read more

Huellas ...Dona Carlota Dale Hoyt Palfrey

Secreted behind a thick adobe wall that runs along Calle Ocampo, Ajijic's main thoroughfare, lies doña Carlota's patio. I cherish this tiny, private paradise for to me its warmth and simplicity repres... read more

Huellas... en el campo santo Dale Hoyt Palfrey

The recent demise of one of my dearest friends has made me reflect on how my experiences in Mexico have not only enriched my life, but also taught me to better cope with death. I am deeply grateful to ... read more

Huellas... de los herreros: the Mexican blacksmith Dale Hoyt Palfrey

Taking up residence in a Mexican village has meant, among other joys, the chance to live out my greatest childhood fantasy: to be a cowgirl with horses of my own. I've now relinquished illusions of bec... read more
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