“Balas de plata” author at A.U.


Photo of the author from the invitation

Mexican novelist and playwright Élmer Mendoza will speak about his work and the “narcoliterature” genre at American University this Thursday.

Mendoza, a native of a Sinaloa, a northern Mexican state home to the notorious Sinaloa cartel and some of the country’s worst drug-trafficking violence, is a “narcoliterature” pioneer. In interviews, he has likened the popular Latin American genre to art forms such as painting, film or the narco corrido that use the imagination to contextualize the cruel realities of Mexico’s drug war.

“I only want to tell a story. I do not want to moralize or make judgments. I do not want to live in fear, so I only write, imagine, and assume,” he told the Spanish newspaper, El País, in 2007.

His latest novel, Nombre de perro (The Dog’s Name), features the recurring character Edgar “El Zurdo” Mendieta, a detective with personal and political entanglements in the Mexican drug war. However, drug trafficking is only one of the many filters through which Mendoza portrays Mexican society and culture.

“Drug trafficking exists in his literary work, but it is not fundamentally about drugs. He uses it as an excuse to write,” said Dr. Ludy Grandas, one of the A.U. professors who will participate in the panel discussion of Mendoza’s work following the author’s remarks.

elmerbook2 copyA winner of the 2007 Tusquets Award for his novel Balas de plata (Silver Bullets), Mendoza has written several novels, plays and , and worked as a lecturer at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa. His growing popularity in Mexico reflects how art can portray cultural realities.

The Center for Latino and Latin American Studies at American University and the Mexican National Council for Culture and the Arts are hosting the lecture, which will take place at the university’s Katzen Arts Center. A reception will follow the panel.

Radhika Raman

Thur., Jan. 31, 6:30 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center’s Abramson Family Room
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Free and open to the public/Abierto al público/ En español
Info: Meredith Glueck, meglueck@american.edu, 202-885-6174

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