Book and Rose Festival closes with Mariana Enriquez and full house at CCU

Reading Stephen King’s novels in an allegorical sense—Carrie, representation of bullying and mass shootings in schools; It, a metaphor for child abuse in a small town, for example, was a significant moment in Mariana Enriquez’s forging a notion of the fictional that she could put into practice in her own writing. A part of his creative process and the discovery of his own voice, which he told during the talk offered in the Miguel Covarrubias Room of the University Cultural Center of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), with a full house and dozens of people who did not They were able to attend, on the last day of the Book and Rose Festival, where they were accompanied by Rosa Beltrán, coordinator of Cultural Diffusion, and Socorro Venegas, director of Publications and Editorial Promotion.

The winner of the Herralde Novel Prize in 2019 for Nuestra parte de noche also addressed the influence that certain outlined events and problems that are based in reality – in this case: countless heartbreaking stories that happened in the Argentine dictatorship – have on the mechanisms of fiction. After the dazzle that King caused him, his next influences were the American Southern Gothic writers: William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and Carson McCullers, who wrote about lands destined for misfortune, he said and recalled the real case of a young Argentine who asked He helps by knocking on the doors and windows of his neighborhood before being murdered, and to whom no one attended out of paranoia over the possibility that his plea was a trap, a false testimony in one of the most critical moments of disappearances. Story that served as the plot of the first story of A Sunny Place for Dark People, in which the boy’s ghost torments those who could have saved him but did not. “Would I have opened the door? I think not. It is also a question for me (…) I think about the decline of the middle class that believes it is progressive, that believes it has values ​​and finally when it is faced with “A political situation always chooses the reactionary side,” he said.

With a great sense of humor and a certain character that may seem carefree to Mexican eyes, Enriquez spoke of a certain aura that weighs on writers when addressing mental health. “Everyone was writing autofiction, telling about their little pills. It bores me, I don’t feel like it,” he continued and said that all people, not just artists, suffer from crises, emphasizing the importance of removing certain preconceived notions regarding psychological and psychiatric treatment.

At the end, Enriquez signed copies of his books to the dozens of young people, admirers of his work, lined up in a long line that reached several meters beyond the entrance to the Miguel Covarrubias Room.

Next to the Miguel Covarrubias Room, the Julio Torri bookstore is full of young people and families who walk – many with roses in their hands – around modules, tents and forums. Several presentations happen simultaneously and writers like Juan Villoro and Jorge F. Hernández roam the area. The tents, too, are full and it is common to see people of all ages and pets on their owners’ leashes.


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The roses are delivered directly, either at some stands or through a man who carries a bucket full of them. A look at the four cardinal points shows that a large part of the attendees are young; some stop at workshops, philosophical cafes or the Universum stand, where children use paints and make crafts.

The flow is slow, among hundreds of people. There are those who have stopped on the stairs of the theater and others have paused in front of the big publishing labels: Planeta, Paidós, Turner. In the surroundings the scene is repeated: pets, couples, volunteers and lines to access a specific place that are synthesized in plurality and the spirit of sharing.

In one of the green areas, at one end of the CCU, there are perhaps forty couples, who read, accompany each other or talk in a kind of picnic. “It is, as always, a party that responds well to the word. I always see happy people who have saved their money to buy my books. I appreciate it. Long live the rose, the book and Saint George,” says the writer Jorge F. Hernandez. who wanders among the tents in search of the one where he will appear.

Next to the green areas there is a food area and signs that hang or are attached: wings, hamburgers, Italian cuisine… It is definitive that Mariana Enriquez’s presentation was one of the great magnets of the Fiesta. Near the telescope installed by FAMA (Associated Mexican Physicists and Astronomers), a loose dog runs towards its owner among large blocks of people who, curious, observe, perhaps the UNAM stand, the Penguin stand, the Oceano stand or the El Colegio de Mexico. There is room for small labels to coexist with big ones.

Along the way, the image of the families, the roses in the hands and the full house repeats and continues.


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