MY LOST MEXICO
by James A. Michener © 1992
[Recommended by Charlotte M. Liebel © 2011]
James A. Michener published his separate book-length guide to the novel MEXICO in the commentary: MY LOST MEXICO. In his own voice and pen, he teaches what I call: the Art of Writing. I am reading it for the first time. He says he wrote 10 Chapters of MEXICO with history & photos of his characters… became disillusioned, boxed it, and resurrected it 30 years later. Michener was born: February 3, 1907 – Died October 16, 1997 = 90 yrs of age.
I recommend the commentary book especially to writers for Michener’s significant expertise in creating a history about what he was about to write. He called it: MY LOST MEXICO. It was a significant book because he wrote it as a follow-up of the novel MEXICO telling everyone how he lived the novel. He devoted his book to the details about how he met and plotted every character, every town, and every family history. In it, he records meeting bull fighters and writes them into the book. He photographs scenes of people and places and includes descriptive details in the ultimate story. He establishes how his characters’ relationships developed in America and Mexico and how it came to be that their ancestors lived in territories he mentions in his original novel. This is a book I recommend to all writers. This is one-hundred percent worth the read whether or not one reads the fictional storybook.
It surprised me to find several new copies of this book available at Amazon.com for pennies. His fans aren’t interested in the development of his story … they only want to read the finished product. On the other hand, I am awed at the “journey” and the “author.” His studies about people, cultures, countries – were published in an anthology, as well.