Friday, March 8, 2013

Spending Mexican Days With Tony Cohan

Would you prefer to wander around Mexico with a horny drunken clown or a literary cosmopolitan? Would you prefer to meet narcos and hookers or journalists and artists? If the former appeals, my book Fresh Wind & Strange Fire will be out soon. If the latter entices, you need not wait. Tony Cohan's book Mexican Days is kind of like my work - but with some class.

Exhibiting a large vocabulary rather than a huge phallus, Tony treks a route similar to mine, including Mexico City, Tlacotalpan, Oaxaca, San Cristobal, and Palenque. (I wasn't following him. Sent my book to the publisher before reading his. If I stalk anyone around Mexico, it's gonna be Salma Hayek.)

Mexican Days jumps a bit chronologically. Stories lead to flashbacks based on mental links, much as actual memories often do. Some literary critics may dislike such visible cleavage (sudden unexplained flashback to Salma Hayek) in the flow of the narrative. However, this gives a meandering feel not unlike real travel or the casual telling of travel tales.

Mexican Days relates some of the wisdom that Americans frequently acquire on journeying into Mexico then contrasting it with their own homeland. Consider this quotation: "In Mexico, your raptures are your own, not prepackaged or branded. The same when things go badly: you're left to your own devices. Nobody to sue, point the accusing finger at; nobody to hold accountable but yourself. I'm comfortable with that view, with its implication that you are, in the deepest sense, responsible for what befalls you."

Mexico offers all the good things in life, plus just enough violence to keep the wimps out. (I have suggested this slogan to the tourism department but haven't heard back.) Newcomers to surreal Mexico sometimes feel vulnerable, but long-term residents usually feel empowered. Life in Mexico provides less safety helmets, but more wind in your hair. If you want to spice up your life and get to know the freewheeling existence Mexicans relish, either Fresh Wind & Strange Fire or Mexican Days will give you a cool introduction.


  1. This story is interesting ... talks about a book about mexico you write or read?

    I like that picture of vegetables, food is typical of us Mexicans.


  2. Well this i sinterestin because it speaks of Mexico like a great adventure.

    Cuevas Chávez Renato Daniel.

  3. We can't blame ourselves for having unexplained flashbacks of Salma Hayek, can we?