This reading by Tom Miller, Tucson author, is part of the fall series of lectures held in conjunction with the exhibit Stories & Music of the Revolution: A Commemorative Exhibit on the Centennial of Mexico’s Revolution in Special Collections.
The Third Country sandwiched between the United States and Mexico has a well-defined and vital literature, one that reflects history (the Mexican Revolution), population patterns (immigration), and crime (smuggling). On the surface it seems depressing and unrelenting, but a thoughtful exploration of the accumulated material shows literary vitality and wide-ranging variety. Writing on the Edge celebrates the world within the borderlands through its twentieth century books and authors, beginning with Mariano Azuela (The Underdogs, 1915) coming all the way up through Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North, 2009). Along the way we encounter the unexpected (Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac), the masters (Carlos Fuentes, Larry McMurtry), the polemical (Gloria Anzaldúa, Carlos Monsivais), the comical (Oscar Zeta Acosta, Antonio Burciaga), and the classic (Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Elena Poniatowska). Borderland writing has many genres, from policiacos (crime thrillers) and theater to poetry and memoir. This program was made possible by the Arizona Humanities Council.