Inside the Statues of Saints: Mexican Writers Talk About Culture and Corruption, Politics and Daily LIfe


160 pages
ISBN 1-55065-074-2
DDC 863





Reviewed by John Walker

John Walker is a professor of Spanish studies at Queen’s University.


Turmoil in Mexico, from the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas to the
disgrace of President Salinas, has made headlines in recent years. It
was against this background that George Szanto interviewed seven Mexican
fiction writers who discussed not only their work but also their views
on Mexican life and culture.

The Carlos Fuentes interview is a transcription of a 1993 CBC broadcast
in which Fuentes talked about the ambivalent aspects of the New World
conquest as reflected in his recent book The Buried Mirror. The other
interviews are with Elena Poniatowska, author of Massacre in Mexico,
which recounts the killing of hundreds of protesting students by
government forces during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City; Margo Glantz,
whose autobiographical novel The Family Tree describes growing up Jewish
in Catholic revolutionary Mexico; Paco Ignacio Taibo II, whose detective
novels reveal the seamy side of Mexican society; Marнa Luisa Puga, an
activist and award-winning novelist who discusses the differences
between the two Mexicos; Juan Villoro, best known for his children’s
fiction and for his writing on popular culture, who expresses concerns
about Mexico’s post-NAFTA culture and commerce; and Ricardo Perera, a
vascular surgeon, essayist, political columnist, fiction writer, and
(alone in this group) admirer of Salinas’s economic policies.

Inside the Statues of Saints is an interesting examination of Mexican
life and culture by thoughtful and articulate writers who live in the
real Mexico, “so far from God, and so close to the United States.”


Szanto, George., “Inside the Statues of Saints: Mexican Writers Talk About Culture and Corruption, Politics and Daily LIfe,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,