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Guaymas Chronicles: La Mandadera (Paperback)
  • Guaymas Chronicles: La Mandadera (Paperback)
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Guaymas Chronicles: La Mandadera (Paperback)

(author)
£25.95
Paperback 408 Pages / Published: 30/09/2006
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This memoir of a young gringo's assimilation into the exotic street life of a bustling port on Mexico's Sea of Cortez is an eye-opening account of the area's working-class life. After months of anthropological field work in late 1960s Ecuador, David Stuart returns to Guaymas with broken bones and a broken heart, finding comfort in the cafes and night spots along the waterfront. There he reveals his failings to people whose lingua franca is the simple wisdom of listening and understanding. The loyal barmen and taxi drivers adopt him into their tight-knit circle, helping him ride out the devastation of betrayal by a woman who is carrying another man's child. Dubbed El Guero (Whitey) on the street, Stuart drifts into 'la movida', the Mexican world of hustlers, politicians, police officials, businessmen, and street urchins. In a 1970 Mexico, where a $500 bribe and a two-year wait 'might' get you a telephone, he needs help. A headstrong shoeshine girl, Lupita, becomes his 'mandadera' (messenger) and then his confidante and junior business partner, working her magic by bribing customs officials and making deals for tires, fans, blenders, and other 'fayuca' (contraband). A scrawny eleven-year-old, she is not just street-brilliant but complicated and utterly fascinating. This vivid, haunting portrait of a world many Americans have visited but few understand, is a unique examination of what Mexico means to one American and what America means to the everyday Mexican people who surround and protect him.

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
ISBN: 9780826331892
Number of pages: 408
Weight: 531 g
Dimensions: 205 x 140 x 26 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
""The Guaymas Chronicles is a heck of a book. . . In such a writer and in such a book lies a mighty hope for education and accord out of the clefted differences "The Guaymas Chronicles perceptively, poignantly embodies."
"[This] book is fast paced, funny, horrifying and a joy to read from the first page to the last."
"The writing is serviceable and the tone is sincere. The human portraits are on target. . . a very believable, fresh, and enjoyable read."
"What makes this book come alive is that the author is not merely an observer, but a character in his own right: The young single gringo with polished Red Wing boots, a taste for Orange Crush and an eye for pretty women."
"The author's keen insight into people and his surroundings came through the sharp eyes of a 25-year-old anthropologist who sees well beyond the surface of life in Guaymas. He knows how to convey that, and his readers reap the rewards."
""The Guaymas Chronicles," [is] a rich autobiographical narrative with the power of a novel peopled by a cast of resilient and passionate characters who stand as representatives of life at the margins of respectability throughout much of urban Mexico, then and now."
"Stuart does better than most novelists with characterization. Conflict bubbles under the surface, and finding Paradise proves more difficult than naively imagined. Tragedy strikes, bringing the realization that Stuart is inescapably non-Guayman, actually caught between two cultures. The details are rich and fascinating to us foreigners. The so-called simple life brings, instead, pathos."
"The human portraits are on target. . . a very believable, fresh, and enjoyable read."
"�This� book is fast paced, funny, horrifying and a joy to read from the first page to the last."
""The Guaymas Chronicles" tells a compelling and powerful tale. . . �Stuart� is among the few gringos who have the capacity to express both the pain and pleasure that true communion with a foreign place can entail."
""The Guaymas Chronicles" is a heck of a book. . . . In such a writer and in such a book lies a mighty hope for education and accord out of the clefted differences "The Guaymas Chronicles" perceptively, poignantly embodies."
""The Guaymas Chronicles," �is� a rich autobiographical narrative with the power of a novel peopled by a cast of resilient and passionate characters who stand as representatives of life at the margins of respectability throughout much of urban Mexico, then and now."
"For all his escapades with Mexican females and the adventures with his bartender buddies, it is his relationship with Lupita that reaches deepest. Roaming Guaymas, driving to Arizona in his 1962 Rambler, and going fishing together on the Sea of Cortz, the two grew closer, and progress of their friendship becomes the driving narrative. Theirs is a gripping and moving story, about shattering the barriors that seperate two people, two classes, two countries."
"Stuart's narrative really takes off when Lupita, a feisty, orphaned street girl who becomes his "Mandadera" (messenger), enters the scene. Despite their myriad differences, they enjoy a deep friendship, as each provides the other with the missing piece of an important relatioship: he replaces the parents she never knew, while she offers the warmth of family and companionship he lost when his marriage was called off. The story of Stuart and Lupita is heartwarming, and yet ultimately tragic. As Guaymas locals kept telling Stuart all those years ago 'You've got to do good things for people'--and with this charming book, Stuart has done quite a lot for his reader."

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