Books February 1986
Americans in Mexico
A review of The Old Gringo: A Novel by Carlos Fuentes.
The Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes is perhaps one of the best-known Latin American writers in the United States, nowadays not so much for his novels as for his strident polemics against U.S. policy in Central America, and his relentless liberal-baiting. People who do not know the man personally are often surprised to learn that he is not only extremely amiable in person but speaks perfect, American-accented English. He grew up here (in fact, in Washington, where his father was a diplomat) and continues to spend at least half his time in this country, which he likes very much. Indeed, his anti-Americanism is something of a pose, obligatory for any Latin American writer who wishes to remain well regarded by the more “advanced” and “progressive” elements in his own country. Perhaps more important, it permits him to validate his credentials as a “real” Latin American writer with the American...
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