Suzanne Ruta
December 11, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

Mexico

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
James A. Michener
genre
Fiction, Historical Fiction

We gave it a C-

James Michener scrapped a first draft of Mexico in 1961. It shows. His newly published revision of it is set back in a time when Mexico is still poor, picturesque, rural, and romantic. Even the plot is antiquated: A Mexican-American writer goes home for fiesta and learns courage from bullfighters and bulls. Historical flashbacks sentimentalize the writer’s Spanish and Indian ancestors. ”We desire to have babies with the Spaniards,” Indian maidens tell a priest in 1527, ”but they refuse to sleep with us unless we are baptized!” Mexican history, says poet Octavio Paz, began with a rape. Michener’s version adds insult to injury. C-

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