Village Without Mirrors

Timothy Francisco, Author, Patricia W. Francisco, Author Milkweed Editions $18.95 (111p) ISBN 978-0-915943-37-1
The Tarascan Indians have lived since c. 500 B.C. in the state of Michoacan in southwestern Mexico. Until recently sequestered from the modern world, they speak a language apparently unrelated to any other and earn a living mainly from agriculture. The Franciscos (she wrote Cold Feet , a novel, and he is a freelance photographer) visited Tarascan villages and here record the ``encounter'' (one village ``had our heart the moment we glimpsed it'') with a rugged volcanic landscape and its ``unapologetic and unflustered'' people. Though occasionally insightful (``The beauty of slow lives turns on the edge of boredom''), the narrative is more often trite, describing courtyards ``teeming with children'' and a volcano that ``looms beyond your reach, its backside a distant dream.'' Interviews with Tarascans yield little (affirms one, ``What do I like about America? Total, total, total ''). Like the prose, the black-and-white photographs are uneven in substance: generic images of wrinkled faces and stoic landscapes are now and then interrupted by inimitably revealing portraits. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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