My Lost Mexico

A Novel by James Michener
Commentary by Alan Robertson

MY LOST MEXICO

 

Suppose you have worked for three years on a novel and have finished two-thirds of it. Suppose you have a six- minute talk with your publisher whose judgment you respect. Then suppose this short conversation makes you feel that you have lost control of your narrative and causes you to abandon the project.

That’s the story of Michener’s My Lost Mexico. He put the novel’s manuscript aside in 1961. It was accidentally shelved in a store room and lost for thirty years. In 1991 it was found. Michener was satisfied that the work he had started all those years ago was still vital, and he rekindled the imagination and desire to finish the book.

The author tells us how Mexico came to be constructed: the ending, set in a bullring in Guanajuato, developed first; the middle portion, the operation of a 19th century silver mine, came next; and, finally, a glimpse of pre-Columbian Indian life formed the introduction to the novel.

But this is far more than a respected author’s notes on the making of a novel, as useful as that is to anyone who aspires to be a professional novelist. It also tells how it is possible for an author to emerge from such a disastrous experience with a new philosophy that affirms his own personal values, his own perception of his craft, and of his ability to write. As an additional bonus, My Lost Mexico contains a hitherto unpublished novella, The Texas Girls, which alone is worth the price of the book.

 

Pin It
Wondrous Wildlife By Vern and Lori Gieger They Live Where?   Mexico has some amazing wildlife. Many species of mammals live near rivers and lakes.
Welcome to Mexico By Victoria Schmidt CFE and Me   Like most residents of Mexico, I don’t worry that much about crime, I live in fear of only
ONLY IN MEXICO (Perhaps) By Tom Clarkson   All in the same week might you experience:  —While waiting for your muffler to get fixed, ending
Hearts at Work —A Column by Jim Tipton “You May Say that I’m a Dreamer”   This year in Mexico we’ve been celebrating even more than
Welcome to Mexico ! By Victoria Schmidt Dying in Mexico   She arrived on August 19, 2010 after years of dreaming of living in Mexico. She died
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: kdavis987@gmail.com November
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style By Jim Rambologna   Enzio Grattani was the Editor-in-Chief of a local rivista (or magazine) in Ajiermo, Italy. Locals
 Find us on Facebook