The interior circuit. A Mexico city chronicle
Love has always been an inexhaustible source of motivation, whether to write novels or to better know other countries and cultures. For New Yorker writer Francisco Goldman, love served both. His love for his second wife, Aura, a young Mexican aspiring writer, who died in 2007 while surfing together on the Pacific coast, first pushed him to write the novel Say Her Name (2011). Afterwards, he was pushed to know more about the city of Mexico, which became its second home since 1998. That year, Goldman rented a small apartment in La Condesa to spend some time outside of Brooklyn. The result of his own daily life in the Mexican capital is The Interior Circuit (Grove Press, 2014), a compilation of chronicles - a mixture of personal diary and journalistic reporting - that served the author to make an x-ray of the city over the last twenty years, and also to find a way to "live in the city without Aura," he writes.
In The interior circuit, the author begins to describe the city from his daily adventures - from taking his driving license in the jungle of his streets to the evenings at the home of his Mexican friends, people of the intellectual elite and wealthy City, who think they are living in a 'bubble' in the country - and later adds other tougher chronicles in order to uncover the problems of Mexican reality: voracious corruption, street violence, drug trafficking crimes.
From his apartment in Condesa, and later in La Roma - the fashionable neighborhood of the elites of Distrito Federal - Goldman exposes the fear he has felt whenever he has been the victim of a robbery or street violence. And he does not bite his tongue when it comes to criticize the president of the PRI, Enrique Peña-Nieto, calling him corrupt and criminal. In another chapter, Goldman reveals his sympathy for his neighbor, Marcelo Ebrand, former mayor of the DF, and tells us some of his measures to combat traffic and pollution, and at the end of the book he focuses on exposing the macabre kidnapping of twelve young students when tyhey were leaving a nightclub, in May 2013. This crime, which ended with the murder of these young people - most of them from a slum called Tepito - in the hands of drug traffickers, serves the author to denounce that Mexico City remains a violent place, stalked by crime. Goldman is able to criticize all this without hiding he is terribly in love with the city. Son of an American Jewish father and Guatemalan mother, Goldman is bilingual, which allows him to investigate into the Mexican reality without the prejudices of the white gringo. He introduces the Mexican reality to the American readers, from equal to equal, without any prejudices.