Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico

Overview

"Desire took C. M. Mayo to Baja California again and again. But it was longing for understanding and for a sense of real connection that produced this exquisite book, a rare jewel in the literature of Mexico and of its little-known peninsula." Impassioned as a memoir, immediate as today's headlines, sweeping as the three centuries of history it traces, Miraculous Air unfolds before us, a deep map of place - rich, detailed, and nuanced. Cleaved from the Mexican mainland by the Sea of Cortes, separated from North America by a sea of cultural,
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Overview

"Desire took C. M. Mayo to Baja California again and again. But it was longing for understanding and for a sense of real connection that produced this exquisite book, a rare jewel in the literature of Mexico and of its little-known peninsula." Impassioned as a memoir, immediate as today's headlines, sweeping as the three centuries of history it traces, Miraculous Air unfolds before us, a deep map of place - rich, detailed, and nuanced. Cleaved from the Mexican mainland by the Sea of Cortes, separated from North America by a sea of cultural, economic, political, and historical difference, Baja California is, in the words of Fernando Jordan, "the other Mexico" - apart and strange. Nearly one thousand miles long, most of the peninsula is sand and rock; a labyrinth of sierra forms its spine, rising massive against the sky and the light-dazzled sea.
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Editorial Reviews

The Los Angeles Times
Miraculous Air — the title derives from Steinbeck — is a luminous exploration of Baja California, from its southern tip at Cabo San Lucas to its "lost city" of Tijuana, Mexico's quintessential border town. Split into five geographic sections ("The South," "The Interior," "The Sea of Cortes," "The Pacific Coast" and "Borders"), the book records less a continuous journey than a series of visits, of relationships, which reveal Mayo's engagement with this landscape in a way that a linear structure might not allow. — David L. Ulin
Library Journal
With elegant prose and an artist's eye for detail, Mayo may just have written one of the best books ever about Baja California. Mayo (Sky over El Nido, which won a Flannery O'Connor Award for short fiction) divides her time between Mexico City and the United States, and it's her Mexican residency and employment that give her Baja explorations an extra edge. This Mexican California, a 1000-mile-long peninsula, presents a bewildering combination of opposites. The landscape can be fierce desert or productive farmland. Baja's citizens are often desperately poor or revoltingly rich. The land attracts both opportunists and expatriates; the Jesuits arrived early on and were removed by interdict from their own church. From south to north, Mayo explores Baja's tourist -crowded Cabo San Lucas and its notorious border city, Tijuana. She travels by mule to view ancient petroglyphs and explores the ruins of long-abandoned missions. One might say she experiences to the fullest all Baja has to offer. Still, the mysterious allure of Baja California is never diminished; it remains a destination that conjures up a frisson of danger and the siren call of unexplored spaces. Highly recommended for travel collections of large public and academic libraries.-Janet Ross, formerly with Sparks Branch Lib., NV Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571313041
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

I The South: So Close to the United States
Los Cabos: El Halloween and the Dia de Muertos 3
Todos Santos: The Visitors 43
II The Interior: Stranger Treasures
The Llano de Magdalena to San Ignacio: Like People You See in a Dream 87
In the Sierra de San Francisco: The Most Beautiful Dream 135
Beyond the Vizcaino: Fine Kings 157
III The Sea of Cortes: Many Secret and Marvelous Things
Cabo San Lucas to La Paz: The Sea Is Cortes 191
Bahia de los Angeles: Bay of Angels 223
IV The Pacific Coast: Leviathan
Laguna San Ignacio: Lay Thine Hand upon Him 259
Scammon's Lagoon (Laguna Ojo de Liebre) and Guerrero Negro: Black Warrior, White Salt 283
San Quintin: In the Land of the Clouds 300
V Borders: The Sound of One Hand Clapping
Tijuana: A Touch of Evil 329
San Diego to Mexico City: Jewel Point 347
Epilogue 355
Acknowledgments 357
Notes 359
Bibliography 361
Index 371
About the Author 390
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