Road to Guadalupe

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Overview

Eryk Hanut captures the abandon with which Mexicans and Americans alike worship the Goddess of the Americas, with writing that evokes the heat rising from the pavements of Mexico City and the dust in the surrounding countryside where Mary appeared centuries ago. He brings the reader deep inside the occult religiosity of Mexican culture, which he conjures with recipes and witchcraft spells; character portraits that could be lifted from a Quentin...
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Los Angeles, California, U.S. A 2001 Hardcover First Edition New in New jacket Eryk Hanut captures the abandon with which Mexicans and Americans alike worship the Goddess of the ... Americas, with writing that evokes the heat rising from the pavements of Mexico City and the dust in the surrounding countryside where Mary appeared centuries ago. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Eryk Hanut captures the abandon with which Mexicans and Americans alike worship the Goddess of the Americas, with writing that evokes the heat rising from the pavements of Mexico City and the dust in the surrounding countryside where Mary appeared centuries ago. He brings the reader deep inside the occult religiosity of Mexican culture, which he conjures with recipes and witchcraft spells; character portraits that could be lifted from a Quentin Tarantino film; and a laser-sharp eye for human detail.

This record of the oddest of pilgrimages is an unforgettable depiction of religious devotion that accompanies the Virgin Mary in our time.

Author Biography: Eryk Hanut is a writer and photographer whose books include an admired memoir of his relationship with Marlene Dietrich, I Wish You Love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In December 1531, an Aztec Indian named Juan Diego climbed a hill in Mexico that had long been home to a shrine to the Aztec mother goddess. There, Diego encountered the radiant apparition of a beautiful young woman. Hanut, a photographer and author (I Wish You Love: Conversations with Marlene Dietrich), recounts how this woman, who introduced herself by a name later interpreted as "Guadalupe," dispatched Diego to the Spanish bishop to command that a shrine to her be built on the site of her appearance. Hanut interweaves the fantastic story of the Lady of Guadalupe with a piquant, deliciously iconoclastic account of his own pilgrimage to contemporary Mexico City. Wading through armies of rosary- and candle-sellers, nasty nuns and believers of every stripe to behold the image of Guadalupe that miraculously appeared on Diego's "tilma," or serape, Hanut captures the way this mysterious divine force overflows every container and impediment, from the Catholic church to the commercialization that grows up around her image. What makes Hanut's account special is his unsparing honesty and his refusal to gloss over inconvenient details like Mexican poverty or the sinuous brew of witchcraft and prayer that this goddess of the Americas evokes. Over the course of his journey, Hanut reveals with profound insight how loving and seeking the divine with abandon can be coupled with the dignity of true discernment. His faith is tempered by his keen eye for human pretense and manipulation, and many readers will be served by his example. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Writer and photographer Hanut (I Wish You Love: Conversations with Marlene Dietrich) paints a vivid picture of his pilgrimage to the site of the 16th-century Marian visitation in what is now Mexico City. He interweaves the story of his pilgrimage with a description of the events surrounding the apparition, based on the Nahuatl text. This many-layered book contains Hanut's reflections on subjects from early Aztec-Spaniard contact to Frida Kahlo to the folk magic practice of brujeria. A skillful observer, Hanut brings to life the characters he meets; his tone falls somewhere between skeptic and true believer. He devotes much of the book to considerations of the Tilma, the cloth relic that belonged to Juan Diego (the man to whom the Virgin Mary appeared) and was purportedly imprinted by her with an image of herself. There are many miracle stories associated with the relic, and scientific study has not been able to conclusively determine its origin. Recommended for public libraries. Stephen Joseph, Butler Cty. Community Coll., PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An unusual travel book of affecting yet wryly entertaining essays about the many, many pilgrims to Mexico's revered shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Hanut takes us back to 1531 with the tale of Juan Diego, a poor Mexican to whom the "Lady from Heaven" appeared at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City. She identified herself as the Mother of the True God, instructed Diego to have the bishop build a temple on the site, and left behind an image of herself imprinted on a piece of cloth. Then we're brought up to 1988 and a second journey, this one made by our author himself, to the same site, now known as Mary's Basilica, or the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the most visited Catholic church in the world after the Vatican-with the mysterious cloth still there, showing no visible signs of wear or decay. Hanut, the Danish-born, Paris-raised photographer and author of I Wish You Love: Conversations with Marlene Dietrich (1995), effortlessly alternates chapters in telling Diego's ancient story alongside his own in a kind of double odyssey. Made by many millions-believers and nonbelievers, rich and robust, the poor and the plagued-the famous pilgrimage offers Hanut a vehicle for his own comments and observations, often wry, about the widely diverse Mexican culture-its religious history, corrupt political scene, deep poverty, compassionate people, and delightful uniqueness. Irreverent and lighthearted on the one hand, serious and upsetting on the other, Hanut's essays will hold equal appeal for the devout and the skeptical-and certainly for those interested in things Mexican.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585421206
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/15/2001
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    I am skeptical about this book

    I read about two thirds of the way through this book, then decided that I didn't believe many of the things this author wrote. For example, the author said that while looking at the merchandise on a vendor's table at Guadalupe, which was entirely covered with religious items, the vendor asked him if he would like a girl. Then after the author, he said, did not respond, the vendor brought out a flyer advertizing a strip club. Then after the author showed that he was not interested, the vendor rolled his eyes. There are a good many stories like this one, that finally strained my credibility far past the breaking point. The author seems to have actually been in Mexico City and in all probability at Guadalupe but seems to be inventive (though he does have an entertaining style). He presents himself as a pious believer in Guadalupe, and perhaps he is in his way, but for one thing doubts that Juan Diego actually existed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2002

    Road to Guadalupe

    I couldn't put this book down- It is so refreshing, well, written and entertaining at once- while dealing with very serious matters- I can't wait for Mr Hanut's next book and highly recommend this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2001

    Road to Guadalupe

    So fascinating and well written; I enjoyed every page of this wonderful travel book-vision quest-It's like being with him there- Congratulations!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2001

    This book is pure magic!

    'The Road to Guadalupe' is a heart-warming and healing treasure. Author Eryk Hanut weaves the timeless tale of the enormously revered Virgin of Guadalupe with his experiences as a modern day pilgrim in Mexico City. The fragile, poignant and miraculous story of the Mother's appearance to an illiterate peasant runs counterpoint to Hanut's dusty, wise and scintillating account of the host of eccentric characters, from charlatans to diamonds in the rough, that surround her shrine. It is this mixture of earthy and Divine that makes the book so utterly unique and delicious. I marveled at Hanut's use of English (not his first language) in 'I Wish You Love', the story of his relationship with Marlene Deitrich. In both books, he delights the reader with stunning metaphors. Although 'The Road to Guadalupe' is a narrative, the author's disarming observations as poet and photographer dominate the vivid writing style, leaving his audience breathless and eager to turn the page in search for more of his jewels. His lazer sharp sketches of unforgettable characters will blaze in your memory, long after the book is reluctantly closed.

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