Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines

Stephanie Elizando Griest, Author . Washington Square $14 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4165-4017-5

Griest (Around the Bloc ), whose mother is a third-generation Mexican-American, “made a conscious choice to be white like my dad one day in elementary school” and, initially, finds her Hispanic identity when a guidance counselor advises that given her SAT scores, otherwise closed doors “would swing open” (she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas in 1997). The realization that “nearly every accolade I have received in life... has been at least partially due to [this] genetic link” inspires her journey to Mexico “to learn Spanish and to gain a deeper understanding of [her] cultural heritage.” Roughly from January to June 2005, she lives in Querétaro (north of Mexico City), coincidentally with a bunch of gay men. Aside from learning about the gay scene, the art scene and Mexico's unique wrestlers, the timing of her trip places her there when the gay activist Octavio Acuña is murdered. In July, she goes to Chiapas (Mexico's southernmost state), “Zapatista territory,” and devotes the second half of her book largely to “documenting a burgeoning social movement that shook parts of the nation to the core.” Patches are interesting, but Griest is not compelling or profound about the harassment and violence suffered by homosexuals, for instance, nor seriously affecting about her personal dilemma, “being biracial.” (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/16/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4165-7971-7
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