The richness and beauty of Mexico’s cultural history are marked and accented by strife, struggle and, prosperity. In his latest book, On The Plain Of Snakes: A Mexican Journey, literary maestro Paul Theroux brings to light both the traditions and turmoil’s that shape of the life the deeply proud Mexican people today. Theroux brings a journalist’s clarity, a historian’s depth, and a storyteller’s watchfulness to his latest adventure.
He makes this Mexican journey a road trip, driving himself, driving along the entire 1,954-mile Mexican border, into and around the cities and he ventures deep into the rural landscape. Theroux takes readers on that deeper, nuanced journey through the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. He does not sanitize the trauma of poverty in Oaxaca, nor does he minimize the dangers faced by migrants from Mexico and Central America hoping to enter the U.S. Despite the daily trials of rural Mexicans, he finds, the communities share an enduring pride in tradition and strong family ties. In exploring the ancient but overlooked culture south of the border, Theroux contemplates his status, as a man in his late 70s living in America’s youth-obsessed, Instagram-driven society.“One of the greatest thrills of travel,” he writes, “is to know the satisfaction of arrival, and to find oneself among friends.” Paul Theroux
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