David Stuart's critically acclaimed first volume, The Guaymas Chronicles: La Mandadera (Southwest Books of the Year 2003, Albuquerque Alibi best book of 2003), told a little girl's story and a very personal tale of love set in Guaymas, Mexico, a fishing port and vacation destination located on Mexico's Sea of Cortez, about four hundred miles south of Tucson. Zone of Tolerance, is about the "big girls" of the 1970s Guaymas night club district and the conflicting needs, wants, realities, and illusions at the core of the viejas' ("working" girls') lives.
Stuart focuses on the exotic fallen angels of the once fabled Club Río Rita in Guaymas's Zona de Tolerancia (red-light district). Moving, funny, and at times tragic, the layered dimensions of their world are mesmerizing. He also continues the stories of his working class friends and compadres in Guaymas, some closer to him than his stateside family. Their struggles with life on the streets provide a rich and uplifting counterpoint to daily life in the Zona.
Zone of Tolerance is important, not only for its human and historical context, but precisely because it is a snapshot of a long-gone, little known slice of Mexican life. In this volume, as in the first, Stuart brings his unique perspective to bear on people seldom written about and a world rarely revealed.
About the Author
David E. Stuart, the first student in the State of West Virginia to earn a degree in Anthropology, came to UNM in '67/'68 where he earned the Masters and Ph.D. and, later, an honorary doctorate from WVa Wesleyan College. He has conducted fieldwork in Mexico, Alaska, Ecuador, and the American Southwest, where he continues to publish in both Anthropology and Archaeology. He served the University of New Mexico as a senior academic administrator for many years, and still teaches the Archaeology of New Mexico.