The Cowboy Bible and Other Stories (Paperback)

By Carlos Velazquez, Achy Obejas (Translator)

Restless Books, 9781632060228, 160pp.

Publication Date: January 26, 2016



"A mix of such otherworldly scenarios, pop culture references and linguistic inventiveness comes remarkably together for a brazen social and political commentary on modern Mexican reality." --NPR Books

The English-language debut of "one of the most original and entertaining voices in contemporary Mexican literature" (Revista Gatopardo): a collection of surreal, ironic, and madcap stories about the comedy and brutality of life in Mexico.

The provocateur and cult sensation Carlos Velazquez has earned comparisons to Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Bukowski, and William S. Burroughs, and has been called "a grand storyteller" (Diario Jornada) and "an icon" (Frente). In these seven surreal and unsettling tales, he portrays the comedy and brutality of a region that has captivated the North American imagination.

Akin to Marquez's Macondo or Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County, Velazquez's PopSTock is a fictional territory in a familiar but strange northern Mexico. Throughout the stories is woven the Cowboy Bible--a mystical and protean object that first appears as the talisman of a Santeria-practicing luchador, DJ, and art critic, then later morphs into an unbeatable marathon drinker, a scion of a fried-chicken vendor dynasty who becomes a Communist guerilla freedom fighter, and the leather for a pair of boots so coveted that it leads a man to grant the devil a night with his wife. With such otherworldly scenarios, pop-culture panache, and Velazquez's linguistic inventiveness, The Cowboy Bible is a brazen commentary on modern Mexican reality.

About the Author

Born in Coahuila, Mexico in 1978, Carlos Velazquez is the author of story collections Cuco Sanchez blues (2004), La biblia vaquera (named one of the books of the year by Reforma in 2009), and La marrana negra de la literatura rosa (2010). He received the Premio Nacional de Cuento Magdalena Mondragon and has been anthologized in el Fondo de Cultura Economica's Anuario de poesia mexicana 2007. Born in Havana, Cuba, Achy Obejas has written fiction, poetry, and journalism. She is the author of five books, including three novels: Days of Awe, Memory Mambo, and Ruins. Her poetry chapbook, This is What Happened in Our Other Life, was both a critical favorite and a bestseller. She is trained as a journalist and has worked in the alternative press, including In These Times, where she writes a monthly column, and The Chicago Tribune. A translator between Spanish and English, she translated into Spanish Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This is How You Lose Her and into English such contemporary Latin American writers as Rita Indiana, F. G. Haghenbeck, and Wendy Guerra. She is the recipient of a USA Ford Fellowship, a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellowship, a team Pulitzer Prize for the series "Gateway to Gridlock" while at the Tribune, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry, the Studs Terkel Journalism Award, and a Cintas Foundation Fellowship. She is currently the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College in Oakland, California.