It isn’t hard to imagine the narrative that oozes out of Tijuana. I mean, people hanging themselves right at the border line, high speed chases that end up in Tijuana. Children spewing fire from their mouths in Tijuana”s streets. Criminals acting as if its still the Wild Wild West. Rich cowboys (Hank, Fox) spewing commentaries that leave more than a few scratching their heads and saying “can they really say that?” Murders by numbers that not only astound but also leaves one aghast. Runaway children from the US hiding in the multiple and desorganized colonias of Tijuana. Drugs, rock and roll, zero native population to speak of, a walking ghost town expanding like a universe of its own … Yeah.
So that is why Urrea can say this:
OLIVAS: You mix many elements in The Hummingbird’s Daughter including both historical facts with what one might call magical realism. Some reviewers imply that you’ve created a new genre. Have you?
URREA: I find the magic realism aspects slightly amusing. If only because the things that can be considered “magical” in the text are pretty much the recorded historical facts. During the editing of the book, there were a couple of points where my editor was busy chopping out the real facts and leaving in all the made-up facts. So here was a case of truth being stranger than fiction and fiction trying to put mortar between the bricks of astonishment. As far as the “new genre” goes, I refer to Eudora Welty. She said that there is nothing new under the sun, the only thing we have to offer is point of view. So my text, which a reporter told me was baroque, is really an attempt to reproduce those fine semi-addled Mexican voices as they spin out tall tales to their children.
Read the rest here. And oh yeah, Luis Urrea es de Tijuana.