|Publication Date||November 1, 1998|
|Rights||All Rights Available |
Tonatiuh‘s People is a fast-paced tragicomedy that provides a wry and gut-wrenching whiff of ruling class chicanery and the bad gas that lurks so close in our ”distant neighbor.“ A gringo reporter who drinks too much mescal and snorts too much coke follows the Indian leader Tonatiuh as he pursues the presidency of Mexico. The bizarre campaign travels from the camps of Subcommandante Marcos in the south to a phalanx of U.S. soldiers in the north, and home again to the Zócalo where all hell breaks loose.
Words from the author, John Ross, about Tonatiuh's People
I wrote this novel for revenge, mostly. Justice demanded it. The novel was begun in 1990 after many months on the road with Cuauhtemoc Cardenas as he pursued the presidency of his country and was ultimately cheated of it. At the time, the Salinas' gang occupied my vitriol. Tonatiuh's People has been rewritten several times since to accommodate political realities-the book had an uncanny aptitude for coming true. At each juncture, the text seemed to prophesy what later would be confirmed as fact. To stay ahead of the curve, I was forced to project further and further into the future. Today, the revenge motive is more structural. History has taught me true contempt for the rulers of Mexico-and deepened my faith in its peoples' ability to make a real revolution.
Fiction as Prophecy
Updated August 2006
Communiqué from Mexico City:
Reporter and poet John Ross wrote his first and only novel, Tonatiuh's People in anticipation of the election that made Carlos Salinas the president of Mexico. Although it is fiction, his novel foretold many of the events that followed that election. Recent events in Mexico are finding new readers for this fast-paced tragicomedy.
John Ross reports and promotes from the D.F.,
“compañeros - just in from the zocalo, the heart of mexico city—
andrés manuel lopez obrador has just drawn 2.4 million people to the political heart of the nation (police estimates) - the largest political demonstration in the history of this republic and double what he drew July 16th - he has asked those who came to stay in a permanent assembly until the votes are counted one by one - the encampments will stretch from the zocalo all the way to chapultepec park and are already being set up - those of you who have long memories will remember that I once wrote a novel tonatiuh's people in which tonatiuh galvan has the presidency of mexico stolen from him and then summons a million people the color of the earth to the zocalo to sit in permanent assembly - we are indeed at a historical moment
—in solidarity, john ross, mexico city”
|Among editors in the United States, the peripatetic Ross is known for his prolific filing of stories from Mexico City and the most remote corners of the Mexican republic, his journalistic and personal courage, and his occasional habit of using Latinate cognates that exist in neither English or Spanish: a result of years of reporting in Spanish and immediately writing in English.|
|Ross is an important journalist (perhaps the most important reporter writing in English on these matters), and a vivid fiction writer. His nose for bullshit and hypocrisy coexists with a real empathy for a great nation and for her valiant people.|
|Tonatiuh‘s People is a roller coaster ride through a fabulous and doomed landscape, rich beyond belief, bitched beyond comprehension. Ross's language bubbles up like fresh magma, jolting, colloquial, angry and inventive. The end result is a tragic and beautiful cry in the dark.|
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