MY LOST MEXICO by James A. Michener


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Michener's lost Mexico is, of course, Mexico (p. 1148)--his new, congenial epic about our southern neighbor. Here, in a much slimmer work that still manages to exude the typical Michener verbosity, is the author's story of the writing of that novel--which, it turns out, wasn't so much "lost" as deep-sixed when, in 1961 and far into the writing, Michener got some hard criticism from then-Random House chief Bennett Cerf, and crumpled. Three decades later, the manuscript surfaced in an attic, and Michener got back to it, working in "the Texas girls," three bull-fighting groupies whose saga was then excised by Michener's current editors. But not to worry: Michener reprints many of the cut pages here, apparently his way of showing that he's now enough of a pro to know how to accept a cut without crumpling--especially if he can use the cut material elsewhere. In any case, more interesting is the book's earlier material, which deals with Michener's initial outlining and drafting of Mexico. Here, in explaining how he conceived characters and action, and how the novel shaped and reshaped itself, Michener offers solid nuts-and-bolts insight into the writing process--making this of moderate interest to aspiring authors, as well as to Michener fans who just can't get enough.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-938349-93-7
Page count: 176pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1992


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