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John Howard Reid
A series of inter-related short stories, set in a small Mexican fishing village, Bahia de los Angeles--a real place fronting the Sea of Cortez on the east coast of Baja California, about 350 miles as the heron flies from the USA border. As the village depends upon American tourists for its income, most of the stories deal with the resulting clash of cultures, as seen through the eyes of the village doctor, Jorge Santos.
"Doesn't anyone in Bahia de los Angeles speak English?" demanded the woman, as she burst into the Bay's small mining museum back of the police station. Part-time museum curator, Dr Jorge Santos, was the first to admit that he didn't understand gringos. Not at all. Beyond five or six common words, their language presented an impenetrable barrier to communication.
Mexico is an absolutely fascinating place! And not the least of its attractions are the people themselves--not the crowds of noisy go-getters that swamp Mexico City or tourist traps like Acapulco, but the reflective fishermen, philosophic peasants and devotedly Catholic women of the small towns and villages.
Such a small village is Bahia de los Angeles. This is the setting of my inter-related short stories in "Mexican Autumn". Although all the characters in these stories are fictitious, Bahia de los Angeles is a real place. Fronting the Sea of Cortez on the east coast of Baja California, it lies some 350 miles (as the heron flies) from the USA border.
Despite this distance, Bahia de los Angeles attracts a surprisingly large number of American tourists. In fact, since the Mexican government closed the fishing industry down, tourism is now the number one industry in the village. So here we have a ready-made clash of cultures.
The dominating feature of Bahia de los angeles (to give the correct Spanish spelling) is a huge mountain, El diablo cojuelo (The Tricky Devil), which almost pushes the little village into the sea. On this mountain is played out one of the most fascinating stories in this collection, "A Pistol for Sister Gregory":
In addition to the 234 pages of "Mexican Autumn" stories, a bonus section contains two long stories, set in different Mexican locations. The first is "The Zone of Silence". Like Bahia de los Angeles, this is a real place. The story commences in Mexico City:
"So you're the famous writer, Senor Morgan?" declared the Dictator. "I don't approve of writers."
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