Available Light: Exile in Mexico

Overview

Culled from previously unpublished material, this collection of writing and photography by John Howard Griffin was taken from the period during which he was writing and revising what would be his most famous book, the bestselling Black Like Me. Living in exile in Mexico at the time, along with his young family and aging parents, Griffin had been forced from his home town of Mansfield, Texas, by death threats from local white racists. Knowing that he would become a controversial ...

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Available Light: Exile in Mexico

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Overview

Culled from previously unpublished material, this collection of writing and photography by John Howard Griffin was taken from the period during which he was writing and revising what would be his most famous book, the bestselling Black Like Me. Living in exile in Mexico at the time, along with his young family and aging parents, Griffin had been forced from his home town of Mansfield, Texas, by death threats from local white racists. Knowing that he would become a controversial public figure once he returned to the states, he kept an intimate journal of his ethical queries on racism and injustice—and to escape from his worries he also immersed himself in the culture of the Tarascan Indians of Michoacan. Accordingly, Robert Bonazzi's introduction contains substantial unpublished portions of the journals, and the main body of the book is made up of three essays by Griffin—one on photography and two about trips he made to photograph rural Mexico.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Adult/High School- Griffin found fame-and infamy-with his mid-20th-century experiment in changing his skin pigmentation and reporting on the responses a person of color garnered in the American South. With the publication of magazine articles that would become his classic Black Like Me , Griffin and his family became targets of hate mongers, and he, his wife and children, and his parents moved to Mexico to find sanctuary. While living in Morelia, Griffin worked not only on the book-length account of his experiences with racism, but also continued to practice photography, an art he came to some years earlier, as he was going blind. (He regained his sight a few years before his skin pigmentation experiment.) The current book includes images of friends, family, and Mexican neighbors as well as essays and journal entries from this both tumultuous and reflective period in his highly inquisitive life. A wide array of readers will find nuggets to treasure as Griffin was given access to Mexican folk celebrations, recorded rural life, reflected on the dangers threatening his family in Texas, and celebrated the recovery of his eyesight.-Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780916727468
  • Publisher: Wings Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

John Howard Griffin is best known as the author of the classic Black Like Me, first published in 1961, an account of his experiences traveling through the American deep South disguised as a black man. He was also an accomplished photographer and the author of several other books, including A Hidden Wholeness: The Visual World of Thomas Merton and Scattered Shadows: A Memoir of Blindness and Vision.

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