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Subcomandante Marcos

Subcomandante Marcos
Zapatista Stories

translated by Dinah Livingstone.
Prose. 2001. 192 pages. ISBN 0904872 36 X. £8.95.
Subcomandante Marcos, the Zapatista leader, is one of Mexico's most brilliant contemporary writers. His work, quite often posted on the internet, includes communiqués and a host of stories, that are colloquial and full of allusions; humorous and passionate; witty and tender. This translation into English (of a London kind) is colloquial too. It has tried to catch the author's sprightly speaking voice, avoiding over-reverent literalism and glum 'strugglese'. As Marcos says, 'We need to laugh a lot to create a new world, because if we don't, our new world will turn out square and it won't go round.'

Zapatista Stories is in three parts. First, stories of the beetle knight errant, Don Durito de la Lacandona, the Zapatista Don Quixote and a Mexican cousin of the bossy caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. Second comes old Antonio, Marcos's other mentor, with stories about the jolly, 'quarrelsome but wise' old Mayan gods. Lastly, there are the real lives of Zapatista children in the 'war against oblivion', ending with the long piece, The Devils of the New Century, that appeared in February 2001, just before the Zapatistas set out on their great march to Mexico City.

'This manages to be both an utterly charming book, and to convey a serious message... Definitely a great volume for anyone seeking an accessible introduction to Zapatista history and ideas -- including kids. Or equally for those already knowledgeable on Zapatismo and looking for a fresh look at the subject.'-- Peace News

'A book that everyone who is not asleep will want to read and re-read. It might even wake a few of us up.' --Ethical Record

'This book allows the reader insight into the Zapatista’s world and their alternative ways of thinking and being. When many stories in this world reinforce ideas of exclusion, materialism, and the glorification of power, it is refreshing to read stories which give importance to diversity, solidarity, and those below.' -- Left Turn

Click on back cover image for another extract from Part 3: 'Zapatista Children'

Click on book for a story. |

Click for complete review in the Ethical Record. |

Click here for online review in New Hope International. |

The translation is dedicated to
Tony van der Poorten, who died
on 5th November 2001.|

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