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job amm. Writer part of the books, their way of living or mimicking something of life.” Auxilio is preternaturally suited for this understanding, as her sense of time and place is malleable: “I came to Mexico City in 1967, or maybe it was 1965, or 1962. I’ve got no memory for dates anymore, or exactly where my wanderings took me; all I know is that I came to Mexico and never went back.” Auxilio doesn’t bemoan the nuances of her life as a literary domestic. She is grateful to serve, and she is a poet as well. Her acts of aesthetic altruism make her a “mother of Mexican poetry.” Amid the sudden rush of a military raid at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Auxilio is on the toilet on the fourth floor of the faculty of philosophy and literature, reading Pedro Garfias. Fortuitously, she becomes a standout resister in the raid: “I saw people with books in their hands, people with folders and typed pages spilling onto the ground, bending down to pick them up, and I saw people being dragged out of the faculty building or coming out covering their noses with white handkerchiefs, which were rapidly darkening with blood.” What looks like a light, survivor-type fable becomes unhinged and racks toward the ephemera of every light and break in light. Professors kill themselves for love. Poets are changed by war. Misanthropic painters embody the dialogues of the gods. Young people take themselves seriously, and the future of literature is crooned to Auxilio by a weak but eternal word-spirit. Anton Chekhov will be reincarnated again and again, with no stay of longevity. Kafka will again be read underground. This heroine is haunted. In her openhearted observation, she is permitted the perspective of the cunning seer. Her burden is to annex language and know its ends and releases: “The children, the young people, were singing and heading for the abyss. I raised a hand to my mouth, as if to stifle a shout, and held the other hand out in front of me, fingers extended and trembling, as if trying to touch them.” This novella is, in fact, an elaboration of a scene in Savage Detectives, a sprawling novel of competing narratives that looks back with humor and disillusion at the author’s days of youth and Infrarealism. of Auxilio Lacouture, based on real-life Uruguayan poet-exile Alcira who went mad hiding out for 10 days during a 1968 military raid, needed its own plane. “I think the character was calling out to him for more space and time,” Andrews says. “She was an emblematic character strongly associated with poetry, youth, and Mexico City.” Bolaiio’s work was a rhizomatic beast at this point. “There was no reason why he had to stop there; any of those digressions could have spawned new works. When you start looking at how the expansions were THE LATEST WORD ON the Natural won WHAT WILDNESS IS THIS Women Write about the Southwest Edited by Susan Wittig Albert, Susan Hanson, Jan Epton Seale, and Paula Stallings Yost Foreword by Kathleen Dean Moore A collection of writings by emerging and well-known writersincluding Joy Harjo, Denise Chavez, Diane Ackerman, Naomi Shihab Nye, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gloria Anzaldila, Terry Tempest Williams, and Barbara Kingsolverthat explores women’s experiences in the natural world of the Southwest. Southwestern Writers Collection Series Texas State University San Marcos Connie Todd, Editor $19.95 PAPER gle ‘ UNIVERSITY 800.252.3206 0 OF TEXAS PRESS .::members, to present the ::acclaimed photographer inaturalist’s vision of the gegion he so loved. B&W PHOTOS, 5 MAPS :$19.95 PAPER, $50.00 CLOTH fo, EXPLORING THE BIG BEND COUNTRY By Peter Koch and June Cooper Price In this highly readable book, Peter Koch’s daughter June Cooper Price draws on the newspaper columns her father wrote v. for the Alpine ‘Avalanche, upplemented by his photo n ‘ Araphs, journal entries, and ::short pieces by other family READ MORE ABOUT THESE BOOKS ONLINE. In this first book to focus on ‘the entire life and work ::of John Gravesauthor of GOOdbye to a River and arguably Texas’s most beloved and respected writerinterviews, appreciations, and critical essays provide new insights into the man himself, as well as the themes and concerns that animate his writing. 23 B&W PHOTOS $34.95 CLOTH JOHN RAVES, WRITER Edited by Mark Busby and Terrell Dixon 24 THE TEXAS OBSERVER AUGUST 10, 2007