Pulitzer Prize–winning author James A. Michener, whose novels hurtle from the far reaches of history to the dark corners of the world, paints an intoxicating portrait of a land whose past and present are as turbulent, fascinating, and colorful as any other on Earth. When an American journalist travels to report on the upcoming duel between two great matadors, he is ultimately swept up in the dramatic story of his own Mexican ancestry—from the brilliance and brutality of the ancients, to the iron fist of the invading Spaniards, to modern Mexico, fighting through dust and bloodshed to build a nation upon the ashes of revolution. Architectural splendors, frenzied bullfights, horrific human sacrifice: Michener weaves them all into an epic human story that ranks with the best of his beloved bestselling novels.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James A. Michener's Hawaii.
Praise for Mexico
“Michener the storyteller at his finest . . . There are splendid and authentic scenes in the plaza de toros that are as dramatic as any written by Ernest Hemingway or Barnaby Conrad.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Astounding . . . fast-moving, intriguing . . . Michener is back in huge, familiar form with Mexico.”—Los Angeles Daily News
“An enthralling story . . . Michener artfully combines the history of Mexico with the art of bullfighting, teaching the reader about both and telling a grand story at the same time.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“A novel of epic proportions, abounding in visual and historical detail.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
Schematic plotting, tortilla-thin characterizations and lengthy digressions on bullfighting mar this lumbering multigenerational saga about Mexico's resilient spirit, which Michener began in 1961 and returned to 30 years later. Norman Clay, earnest American journalist born and raised in Mexico, is sent to his native city in 1961 to cover a potentially deadly showdown between two famous matadors who represent ``the two faces of Mexico, the Spaniard versus the Indian.'' This bullfight festival, the book's centerpiece, is interwoven with more interesting historical interludes in which Clay grapples with his own mixed heritage. His diverse ancestors include a 16th-century Mexican Indian queen who leads a women's revolt against human sacrifice, a Spanish scholar burned at the stake during the Inquisition, a Franciscan soldier-priest who accompanies Hernan Cortes to Mexico, a Virginia plantation proprietor who loses his wife and sons in the Civil War, and Clay's father, a silver-mine owner who participates in the Mexican Revolution. The colorful novel cuts a wide swath through history but doesn't catch fire as a personal story. BOMC main selection.