This I Believe by Carlos Fuentes
An A to Z of a Life

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In this masterly, deeply personal, and provocative book, the internationally renowned Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes, whose work has been called “a combination of Poe, Baudelaire, and Isak Dinesen” (Newsweek), steps back to survey the wellsprings of art and ideology, the events that have shaped our time, and his extraordinary life and fiercest passions.

Arranged alphabetically from “Amore” to “Zurich,” This I Believe takes us on a marvelous inner journey with a great writer. Fuentes ranges wide, from contradictions inherent in Latin American culture and politics to his long friendship with director Luis Buñuel.

Along the way, we find reflection on the mixed curse and blessing of globalization; memories of a sexual initiation in Zurich; a fond tracing of a family tree heavy with poets, dreamers, and diplomats; evocations of the streets, cafés, and bedrooms of Washington, Paris, Santiago de Chile, Cambridge, Oaxaca, and New York; and a celebration of literary heroes including Balzac, Cervantes, Faulkner, Kafka, and Shakespeare. Throughout, Fuentes captivates with the power of his intellect and his prose.

Here, too, are vivid, often heartbreaking glimpses into his personal life. “Silvia” is a powerful love letter to his beloved wife. In “Children,” Fuentes recalls the births of his daughters and the tragic death of his son; in “Cinema” he relives the magic of films such as Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz. Further extending his reach, he examines the collision between history and contemporary life in “Civil Society,” “Left,” and “Revolution.”

And he poignantly addresses the experiences we all hold in common as he grapples with beauty, death, freedom, God, and sex. By turns provocative and intimate, partisan and universal, this book is a brilliant summation of an international literary career. Revisiting the influences, commitments, readings, and insights of a lifetime, Fuentes has fashioned a magnificently coherent statement of his view of the world, reminding us once again why reading Fuentes is “like standing beneath the dome of the Sistine Chapel. . . . The breadth and enormity of this accomplishment is breathtaking” (The Denver Post).

From the Hardcover edition.

About Carlos Fuentes

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The author of more than a dozen novels and story collections, Carlos Fuentes is Mexico's most celebrated novelist and critic. He has received numerous honors and awards throughout his lifetime, including the Miguel de Cervantes Prize and the Latin Literary Prize. Included among his books are Terra Nostra, Where the Air Is Clear, and Distant Relations. Alejandro Branger is a writer and filmmaker. He lives in New York City. Ethan Shaskan Bumas wrote the story collection The Price of Tea in China, which was a finalist for PEN America West Fiction Book of the Year. He teaches at New Jersey City University.
Published December 18, 2007 by Random House. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for This I Believe

Kirkus Reviews

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“I believe in Balzac,” writes Fuentes.

Feb 08 2005 | Read Full Review of This I Believe: An A to Z of ...

The New York Times

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Carlos Fuentes combines memoir, literary criticism and political manifesto in this challenging, encyclopedic collection.

Jun 12 2005 | Read Full Review of This I Believe: An A to Z of ...

The Guardian

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Writing about his wonderful father ('a man of good humour, tenderness, punctuality: a good example'), he records that on the day he died, Fuentes Sr 'did two things: he tried on a new suit and he sexually harassed my mother'.

Sep 25 2004 | Read Full Review of This I Believe: An A to Z of ...

Bookmarks Magazine

… Much of the book reads like a series of position papers, on how to reconcile economic development with human rights, strengthen public education and reconstruct the left …" Steven G.

Jan 12 2008 | Read Full Review of This I Believe: An A to Z of ...

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