What do friendship, Mexicanness and the fear of flying in an airplane have in common?
In this collection of essays, Tedi Lopez Mills, one of Mexico’s premier poets, deals with the complexities of everyday life, from sudden death to friendship.
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Born in Mexico City (1959), Tedi Lopez Mills is an award-winning Mexican poet, essayist, translator and journalist.
Her most recent work, "Cascarón Roto" translated into English by Robin Myers as 'The Book of Explanations' (Deep Vellum, 2022), compiles various essays in which she addresses topics such as the fear of flying (her uncle died in a plane crash), the comfort of instant death, the uneasiness of a slow end, as well as friendship, literary congresses and the national soul.
"In this book I tell those stories and intersperse them with some ideas from Jorge Ibargüengoitia, Aldous Huxley, Julio Cortázar and Adolfo Bioy Casares, where the dilemma between instant death and that which is slow or could be described as a reasonable agony intersects," the author told the Mexican newspaper Excelsior in 2021, upon the book's publication in Spanish.
"The following essays allude to conscience, pain, private histories, dreams, wisdom and the most difficult memories that construct one's identity," her U.S. publishers emphasize. "Throughout the book, Lopez Mills traces the imprint of her own history, journeys into her own consciousness and into the mysteries of existence."
A philosophy graduate from UNAM in Mexico, Lopez Mills went on to study literature at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where she completed a master's degree in Spanish-American literature.
"A constant in her work is the questioning of the world and of herself," they note in the book review published in Letras Libres magazine. "López Mills distances herself from conjunctural enthusiasms ("narcoliteratura", "metooísmo") and, therefore, from the new cultural agendas -nowadays already outdated- that define the themes and the protagonists of editorial productions. Subject to the demands of her own intelligence, Lopez Mills does not want to be a school, nor a slogan, nor politically correct, and for this reason she is profoundly disturbing, original and contemporary," the review concludes.