Synopses & Reviews
Tony Cohans On Mexican Time
, his chronicle of discovering a new life in the small Mexican mountain town of San Miguel de Allende, has beguiled readers and become a travel classic. Now, in Mexican Days
, point of arrival becomes point of departure asfaced with the invasion of the town by tourists and an entire Hollywood movie crew, a magazine editors irresistible invitation, and his own incurable wanderlustCohan undertakes a richer, wider exploration of the country he has settled in.
Told with the intimate, sensuous insight and broad sweep that captivated readers of On Mexican Time, Mexican Days is set against a changing world as Cohan encounters surprise and adventure in a Mexico both old and new: among the misty mountains and coastal Caribbean towns of Veracruz; the ruins and resorts of Yucatán; the stirring indigenous world of Chiapas; the markets and galleries of Oaxaca; the teeming labyrinth of Mexico City; the remote Sierra Gorda mountains; the haunted city of Guanajuato; and the evocative Mayan ruins of Palenque. Along the way he encounters expatriates and artists, shady operatives and surrealists, and figures from his past.
More than an immensely pleasurable and entertaining travel narrative by one of the most vivid, compelling travel voices to emerge in recent years, Mexican Days is both a celebration of the joys and revelations to be found in this inexhaustibly interesting country and a searching investigation of the Mexican landscape and the grip it is coming to have in the North American imagination.
"Novelist and memoirist Cohan takes on a travel magazine assignment to make 'some trips around Mexico... see how the puzzle of old and new fit together [and] write about it.' Traveling south from his San Miguel home, he passes through Vera Cruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas into the Yucatn. Readers familiar with the path may enjoy traveling with him; others will long for a minimal map, an organizing principle and some photographs. As Cohan drifts through Mexico, history (e.g., the founding of Tlacotalpan sometime between A.D. 900 and 1200) and contemporary events (e.g., the barricading of mountain roads by Zapatista insurgents) are revealed. Chats with taxistas and shopkeepers, visits with friends and artists, remarks about his own work and casual references to the famous among Mexico's tourist, exile and expatriate population dot the pages (John Huston gets four pages). Cohan's description of the book as 'the Mexican postcard I'm always writing home' is accurate; but postcards work best for readers who can fill in the blanks with their own sense of where the writer is coming from. Perhaps readers of Cohan's previous, well-received account (On Mexican Time: A New Life in San Miguel) will be able to do so." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Told with the intimate, sensuous insight and broad sweep that captivated readers of "On Mexican Time," this is both a celebration of the joys and revelations to be found in this inexhaustibly interesting country and a searching investigation of the Mexican landscape and the grip it has on the North American imagination.
About the Author
TONY COHAN is the author of On Mexican Time, the memoir Native State (a Los Angeles Times Notable Book of the Year), and the novels Opium and Canary (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year). His articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Condé Nast Traveler. He divides his time between Mexico and California.