Thursday, January 15, 2009

Carlin Romano on Mexico's Feria Internacional del Libro, Guadalajara

His article for the Chronicle of Higher Education:
A Mexican saying holds that Como Mexico no hay dos — There is only one Mexico. American media these days interpret that notion with a vengeance. Story after story depicts a country overrun by out-of-control drug wars and murder, where corrupt police officers trip over beheaded victims more often than they nab perpetrators. South of the border, a beauty queen smuggles drugs. Kidnappers take a hostage negotiator hostage. People with money keep security SWAT teams close by. Killers invade hospitals to shoot enemies who escaped earlier hits. All that in a land that endlessly exports illiterate illegal immigrants, viewed by many in the United States as either continuing threats to our economy or ethnic jokes who stoke the rise of a book such as Gustavo Arellano's ¡Ask a Mexican!, with its replies to questions like, "Why do Mexicans park their cars on the front lawn?" Don't believe it? C'mon — it's all in The New York Times. And then, somewhere below the radar, is Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara, the foremost book fair in the Spanish-speaking world... READ MORE