Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Diesel Report & the Aspen Report

Just back from the tour out west. (Pictured here is my sister's Tibetan Spaniel Pabu doing the sphinx thing at Stanford University.) Sunday before last, at downtown Oakland California's cozy but cosmopolitan Diesel, A Bookstore, I read and signed my new anthology, Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion. This time --- no children present that I could see-- I read my translation of Juan Villoro's spicy (translation: loaded with swear words) "One-Way Street", a short story about Mexico City punk rockers. Juan Villoro is one of Mexico's most wide-ranging and prolific writers, and it is a great pleasure to translate his work. What was extra fun about this event was that both the publisher, Dave Peattie, founder of Whereabouts Press, and publicist, Peter Handel, were there-- I was very honored. Also in the audience were that dynamo of Mexican mojo, Chiras P., amigos Diego, Ines, Nancy E., writer Maria Espinosa, and literary translator Barbara Paschke (her work, by the way, appears in no less than three of the Traveler's Literary Companions: Costa Rica, Cuba and Spain). From California I went on to Aspen, where I had a delightful lunch at the Jerome Hotel's Garden Terrace with puggy princess Picadou and none other than Bruce Berger, who kindly consented to autograph a copy of his Music in the Mountains: The First Fifty Years of the Aspen Music Festival. Bruce's new book, another about Baja California, Oasis of Stone, is about to come out. It is sure to be excellent and very beautiful. More anon.