Category Archives: July 2017

July 2017

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Editor’s Letter

By Jane Bauer

“Whenever I’ve dreamt a lot, I go out into the street with my eyes open but I’m still wrapped in the safety of those dreams. And I’m amazed how many people fail to recognize my automatism. For I walk through daily life still holding the hand of my astral mistress, and my footsteps in the street are concordant and consonant with the obscure designs of my sleeping imagination.” Continue reading Editor’s Letter

Combating Illiteracy in Oaxaca

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 7.44.41 PMBy Brooke Gazer

While Mexico has some world renowned authors, the sad fact remains that a large part of its population is unable to read them. Illiteracy is a major contributor to poverty, while education improves people’s standard of living, regardless of location or nationality. Mexico’s 2015 census indicates an enormous gap between urban and rural populations. Oaxaca, which is primarily rural, is a perfect example, with a 13.3% illiteracy compared with a 5.5% national average. This country is making great strides, but it faces significant hurdles. Continue reading Combating Illiteracy in Oaxaca

The Cash or Credit Card Conundrum in Oaxaca

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 7.45.00 PMBy Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.

Earlier this year a federally licensed driver recounted a story about a couple vacationing in Oaxaca from Australia, and wanting to enlist his chauffeur services for the following day. All was arranged until the Aussies asked, “Can we pay at the end of the day with VISA?” He replied that he was not equipped for credit cards, but certainly cash in USD or pesos would be fine, or even paypal. They had no cash, and stated that they could not access paypal or an ATM with the card(s) they had. Imagine! Continue reading The Cash or Credit Card Conundrum in Oaxaca

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

By Julie Etra

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a Spanish writer, born in Barcelona in 1964 but based in Los Angeles since 1994. His books have been published in 40 languages.

I am on my fourth Zafón book El laberinto de los espíritus (Labyrinth of the Spirits), the most recent in the series ‘El cementerio de los libros olvidados’ (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books). These four gothic, fantastical books are within themselves a type of labyrinth since they are all interconnected, with complex multiple layers and re-occurring characters. Continue reading Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Luis Alberto Urrea

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 7.45.25 PMBy Marcia Chaiken

The selection of Luis Alberto Urrea as my favorite Spanish-language author was not made after careful deliberation. In fact, I surprised myself as I blurted out his name at The Eye meeting when we were asked to nominate authors. Only afterwards I wondered why I hadn’t said Carlos Ruiz Zafón, whose mystical books were an obsession for years. Or, why hadn’t Isabel Allende come to mind, since for decades I’ve immediately bought her enchanting novels while the ink is still hot on the page. Continue reading Luis Alberto Urrea


Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 7.46.11 PMReview By Jan Chaiken

The novel Zama by Antonio di Benedetto is a cult classic in Argentina and widely regarded in literary circles as a masterpiece of Spanish-language writing. The 50th anniversary of the publication of Zama was celebrated with a festival in Buenos Aires in 2006. But in the U.S., Canada, and even in Mexico, many of the most enthusiastic readers of Spanish-language novels have not heard of Zama. Americans and Canadians are probably unaware of the novel because its English edition first appeared in 2016. You can now buy a Kindle edition in English. If you prefer the original language and are connected to the internet inside Mexico, you will find you can download free e-book editions in Spanish, in various formats including PDF. Continue reading Zama