Dispatched from a city wracked by high-level corruption scandals and massive popular protests calling for justice culminating around the disappearance of forty-three college students in Guerrero, Mexico, Francisco Goldman’s THE INTERIOR CIRCUIT (Grove Press; July 7, 2015) is a timely, provocative, and kaleidoscopic journey into the heart of Mexico City that fuses a personal journey to a multi-layered investigation of one of the world’s most remarkable and often misunderstood great cities.
Balancing memoir and reportage, Goldman begins with a story of enrolling in driving lessons, both to overcome his fear of the anarchic chaos of Mexico City traffic, and to mark the fifth anniversary of the tragic loss of his wife, a native of the city. As he emerges from his period of solitary grief, he shifts his attentions outward as he explores and celebrates the vast megalopolis of the DF, or Distrito Federal, as Mexico City is officially known.
THE INTERIOR CIRCUIT immerses readers in the intersecting lives and communities of the DF, from the suddenly reborn student movement to rich-boy party bus thugs; the loquacious former DF mayor who is Goldman’s downstairs neighbor; a chorus of police, a dyspeptic driving school teacher, the priestess of Holy Death, a divinely mad missionary nun; writers, artists, journalists, and other cantina stalwarts who are among the author’s closest friends. But at the heart of the book is Tepito, the DF’s legendary “Fierce Barrio,” and the unprecedented and shocking kidnapping of thirteen young men and women in broad daylight—a plot with roots that extend from Mexico’s notorious narco cartels up to the highest levels of government.
THE INTERIOR CIRCUIT is a chronicle of awakening, both personal and political, “interior” and “exterior,” to the meaning and responsibilities of home. Through his exploration of loss, friendship, death, and violence, Goldman’s profound journey brings him back to life, love, and community.
Meet the Author
FRANCISCO GOLDMAN is the author of Say Her Name (2011), a deeply felt ode to his late wife Aura Estrada in the form of a novel, which won the Prix Femina Étranger, and four other books, including The Art of Political Murder (2008), a work of investigative reportage into the murder of a Guatamalan bishop and prominent human rights activist. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Cullman Center Fellow at the NY Public Library, and a Berlin Fellow at the American Academy, among other awards and honors. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Believer, and numerous other publications. Every year he teaches one semester at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and then hightails it back to Mexico City.