In the Yucatan by Earl Shorris
A Novel

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In this stark, unsettling novel, set in a Mexican prison, present-day events resonate with the ancient history and wisdom of the Maya. Graham Greene meets Carlos Castaneda.

In the central Yucatan a group of Maya Indian workers revolt against the corrupt oligarchy of government, business, the official union, and the press. Two young men—a traditional Maya leader and a Mexican-American lawyer—are drawn into ever deeper commitment to the struggle. When they are caught in a trap and thrown into jail, the lawyer declares a hunger strike. The story of the Maya workers, and of their village, is narrated in a series of vivid flashbacks that alternate with the grim deprivations and interrogations in the prison. Day by day, the young lawyer approaches death, and in his discussions with his friend and cell mate, there emerge two different definitions of love, loyalty, and courage, each man's version determined by the culture from which he springs. One of the chief delights of this rich, intense storytelling is the introduction it provides to the Maya understanding of time, medicine, and proper behavior. Although everything that happens in the novel could have appeared in the latest news stories out of Mexico, nothing happens quite as expected, and the startling conclusion could only have taken place in the Yucatan.

About Earl Shorris

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Earl Shorris (1936–2012) is the author of many works of both fiction and non-fiction including Latinos, Under the Fifth Sun, In the Language of Kings, and Riches for the Poor. He was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Clinton for his founding of the Clemente Course in the Humanities®, Inc.
Published May 17, 2000 by W. W. Norton & Company. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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As the days wear on and he begins to waste away, the friends discuss the fate of the 21 strikers kept in another part of the jail, banter over the salary Andrés will owe John on their release, and wonder whether they can trust persistent journalist Roger Coronado, who says he wants to publish the...

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Andr s Chay is a traditional Maya leader and mystic who enlists Mendoza's help when the pig farmers of the village of Sac May in the Yucat n peninsula mount a strike and attempt to start a Maya worker's union, independent of the corrupt Sindicato de Obreros Mexicanos.

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