Mexico by Josh Barkan
Stories

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Masterful stories that peel away at the thin border between everyday life and profane violence in modern-day Mexico.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Josh Barkan’s astonishing collection indelibly captures the beauty, strangeness and brutality of life in modern Mexico. The characters in these pages are everyday citizens—a chef, architect, nurse, high school teacher, painter, beauty queen, classical bass player, plastic surgeon, businessman, mime—simply trying to lead their lives and steer clear of violence. Yet inevitably, violence has a way of intruding on their lives. A surgeon finds himself forced into performing a risky procedure on a narco killer. A teacher struggles to protect lovestruck students whose forbidden romance has put them in mortal danger. A painter’s freewheeling ways land him in the back of a kidnapper’s car. Again and again, the lines between “ordinary life” and cartel violence are shown to be paper thin, with tragic results. Though the lives of Mexico’s characters are effected by the corrupt and dangerous subculture of their country, these are much more than simple "crime stories". They are complicated and deeply moving tales that tap into universal and enduringly powerful themes: love and loss, religion, family relationships, government abuse, sexual identity, professional ambition, cancer; they introduce us to characters that feel fully realized in their humanity.
 

About Josh Barkan

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JOSH BARKAN has won the Lightship International Short Story Prize and been a finalist for the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, the Paterson Fiction Prize, and the Juniper Prize for Fiction. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his writing has appeared in Esquire. He earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught writing at Harvard, Boston University, and New York University. With his wife, a painter from Mexico, he divides his time between Mexico City and Roanoke, Virginia.
Author Residence: Mexico City; Roanoke, VA
 
Published January 24, 2017 by Hogarth. 256 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Excellent
on Nov 01 2017

Masterful stories that peel away at the thin border between everyday life and profane violence in modern-day Mexico.

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