cover image My Lost Mexico

My Lost Mexico

James A. Michener. State House Press, $24.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-938349-93-8

In this intermittently interesting portrait of a writer's mind at work, Michener reconstructs the birth of his recently published novel Mexico , which he had originally abandoned in 1961. He blames the novel's derailment on a mocking editorial suggestion by Bennett Cerf, then his publisher at Random House, which caused him to lose control of the story's diverse strands. Misplaced for three decades, the lost manuscript turned up in 1991 and Michener completed the multigenerational saga centering on a three-day bullfighting festival. Discussing the ``colossal'' writer's blocks he has faced over the years, Michener offers advice to aspiring writers as he describes his many trips to Mexico, divulges his sources of inspiration and relives the writing of Mexico with the aid of reproduced journal pages, workbook entries and photographs. (Dec.)