Updated: Apr 12, 2021
Some of you have wondered if I tell the same stories in my book and my blog, but this blog is very different from the stories in the book. Here I give away none of the plot of AS FAR AS THE I CAN SEE, but draw connections and conclusions that the book does not make, and many of the stories are new. Plus you will see that the writing style is very different.
I am so grateful that so many if you have told me that you’ve bought the book already and are enjoying reading it! I have been thrilled to hear from friends, other writers, readers from my past and present. Forty years ago when I met the poet and activist Naomi Shihab Nye, whose work I adored, she asked me why I didn’t publish my writing. I said I didn’t know the point, since I was satisfied writing for myself and was afraid that getting rejections from publishers would stop me from writing. She said, “Don’t you know that publishing your writing is the way you make friends?” Revealing one’s thoughts and actions in a memoir lays a writer open to criticism, but that is more than compensated for by those readers for whom the work is meaningful.
I have never spoken to anyone about the details of the year I spent in the Yucatan before writing this book. I needed to sort out my memories and my feelings about a very complicated time in my life, and so it has taken me twenty years to tell this story. There are people, events that I left out, and some of the sequence has been altered for the sake of the narration. But every experience actually occurred, although the names have been fictionalized. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction.
There are so many beautiful aspects of Mexico. Its land is vast and varied, its culture complex and fascinating and draws me to it. My book is about a very particular place and unique individuals, and although it is a dark story, it is not a condemnation of all of Mexico or Mexicans. In fact, many of the unsavory characters in the book are from other countries including the USA. The heroes are Mayan.
Jack and I will be living in San Miguel de Allende come July, a beautiful colonial city in the mountains of central Mexico. It is a very different environment from where I lived before. And this is 2021, not 1999 when the events of my book occured. There will be internet and lyft and cell phones and apps for making life easier than it was then. And Jack will be with me, which will make all the difference.
In four more days I will get back to telling stories from the Yucatan. As we get closer to July I will be telling more about our move and our next big adventure. And I will always look forward to hearing from you!