Book Review: ‘Mexican Enough’ by Stephanie Elizondo Griest
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Alex Espinoza reviews ‘Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines,’ by Stephanie Elizondo Griest.
‘It begins with a memory: A 6-year-old girl hurls herself in front of a moving car. Sustaining a badly split lip and nothing more, a young Stephanie Elizondo Griest decides that automobiles are best avoided altogether. The specter of children dashing across the asphalt, ‘perhaps images of my former self,’ haunts her on those rare occasions when she does drive. So call it divine intervention or simple chance when Griest, en route to Corpus Christi, Texas, from Los Angeles, encounters a group of people, one a child, darting across a hot stretch of Interstate 10. It is a startling image -- unnerving, crystalline, visceral -- meant, it seems, exclusively for her on this isolated ribbon of highway. ‘My lifelong phantom has actualized,’ she writes. ‘Prompted in part by that encounter, Griest determines she must venture south of the frontera to make peace with the elusive ‘Mexicana’ inside of her, the side she tried so hard to eradicate as a child because of stigmas and preconceptions, only to embrace it as a young adult in order to reap its benefits. She confesses: ‘Nearly every accolade I have received . . . has been at least partly due to the genetic link I share with the people charging through the snake-infested brush.’ ‘
— Deborah Bonello in Mexico City