Author of The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, etc.

C.M. Mayo < Digital Media < Podcasts < Conversations with Other Writers <

Recorded in November, 2013, San Angel Inn, Mexico City

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Announcer: Conversations with Other Writers, with your host, award-winning travel writer and novelist C.M. Mayo.

C.M. Mayo: Welcome to the occasional series, "Conversations with Other Writers." I'm your host, C.M. Mayo, and this conversation with Mexican writer and editor, Rose Mary Salum, is a very special one. It is very close to my heart, and I think you will find in it a cornucopia of discoveries. It was recorded in Mexico City in November 2013.



Rose Mary Salum:
Thank you, Catherine. Thank you for having me on your program.

C.M. Mayo: Well, thank you. I've been wanting to do this interview for the longest time because I have been a real admirer of Literal Magazine. It's Literal: Latin American Voices and your website?

Rose Mary Salum: My website is www.LiteralMagazine.com.

C.M. Mayo: It's one of the very few and splendidly done bilingual literary journals looking at contemporary…well, I should let you tell me about it.

Rose Mary Salum: Well, it's a bilingual magazine that started almost 10 years ago when we moved to Houston. You know I'm originally from Mexico but 15 years ago we moved to Houston, my family and myself. After studying there, my master's degree, I decided to start the magazine because I found that there was nothing representing Latin American culture in the United States. But it's funny because at the same time while I was discovering that I also found out that here in Mexico many people were not really aware of what was going on in the United States.

C.M. Mayo: A big disconnect.

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly. It's funny that you mention that word because when the idea of the magazine came, it came through the word connection. That was the word that came in my mind along with an image of connecting something. And that's when I took the decision of starting the magazine.

C.M. Mayo: That would have been what year exactly?

Rose Mary Salum: 2004.

C.M. Mayo: So NAFTA had already come through... but I think it still is a moment when there's a lot of disconnect. And you feel that as someone living in the other country. I mean, I'm an American living in Mexico and you're Mexican living in Texas. Texas is its own country!

Rose Mary Salum: [Laughs] Exactly!

C.M. Mayo: [Laughs] I'm from Texas, so I get to say that! But I see that how so often the leading writers and poets and artists- there's lots of exceptions, but there's just huge gulfs of ignorance between the two groups where they don't communicate, they don't understand each other, and to use one of my favorite expressions of John Tutino, "there are enduring presumptions."

Rose Mary Salum: [Laughs] It's true and the connection happens on very different levels. I understand that sometimes authors and artists and people who are creating, sometimes they connect from one country to another, but most of the time they are disconnected and what happens is that the United States, it's a country that pays attention to itself and to its own productions. And we've talked about this subject many times. They are not very open to translations, they are not very open to what is being written in other countries. And in a way, Mexico has their own disconnection, too. What Mexicans or what people in Latin America know about what is going on in the United States happens through history. I mean, people who know that there were authors like Truman [Capote] and Hemingway, but they belong to the history.

C.M. Mayo: To the past, not the present. So if you were to say to the average contemporary Mexican literary writer, who are your colleagues in the U.S.? They might not know.

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly. And the same happens in the United States.

While I was studying my master's degree and while I was taking my literature classes, I remember and it was one of the moments also that made me start the magazine, while we were studying the Latin American literature. We were studying people from the boom. Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez, and they didn't even go to Octavio Paz, for example. I mean they stopped at the boom. Like, after the boom nobody was writing anything. You know, I remember asking one of the professors, is this all we are studying? Aren't we reading the contemporary writers? She said, "No." And I mean, this is it. I was really shocked by that, why we were not reading…you know, the subject was contemporary literature in Latin America, so why were we not reading those writers? Or, why here in Mexico they don't know anything about what's going on right now. They know everything about Hemingway.

C.M. Mayo: James Joyce, Virginia Woolf.

Rose Mary Salum: So that moment really triggered, really gave me the impulse to go and start the magazine.

C.M. Mayo: Who are some of the contemporary writers in Mexico that you're really excited about and that you've published in Literal Magazine that American writers, English language American writers just don't have on their radar and really should?

Rose Mary Salum: Well, for example we have published Mario ___ (6.00). He's unknown in the United States. Tedi López Mills, which is a very…

C.M. Mayo: I've translated her.

Rose Mary Salum: She's amazing. She has won all sorts of literary awards and actually she's half American. She's half Mexican and half American. And you know, nobody knows her in the United States. I mean I know that New Directions are thinking of maybe translating her or publishing her but very few people know about her, for example.

Pura López Colomé, which is another…

C.M. Mayo: Very highly regarded here. She's the translator of Seamus Heaney.

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly. Just recently, like a year ago, I received a book of hers that was translated into English. You know, I was really happy to know that, we even reviewed that book, but we published her a long time before that. So there are many like Malva Flores or there are many other writers that people do not know about them. It's kind of tragic because when you mention someone like Jorge Louis Borges they still don't know who he was and it's kind of sad.

C.M. Mayo: I was at a conference (I might edit this out), in Mexico for English writers and the assumption just was that there wasn't anything worth reading. That Mexicans were taxi drivers and maids and deserving of charity or something and there was just no concept that there is this huge literature. In fact, the first book printed in North American was printed here in Mexico City. There's a great tradition of printing and publishing and literary culture here and just no concept of that.

Rose Mary Salum: It's really sad to me. At the same time, that also happens here in Mexico. Yesterday, I was chatting with some friends and they were talking about people from the United States. You know, this same stereotype of they are like this or the other. There is a profound disconnection still. I mean, it doesn't matter if we still have the Internet or we have television or emails or Facebook. There is a profound disconnection between these two cultures because there are many stereotypes that come from the past that we have not gone over them, we are still carrying them with us.

C.M. Mayo: Representations through the media and through the tourism industry as well that tend to reinforce certain visions that I think are really very biased of what's actually here.

Rose Mary Salum: I've been thinking about this subject a lot. I really think that it has to do with the fact that when you do not know something you try to just go as far as you can from that thing that you don't know. So the easiest way is just to deny that thing that you don't know. Just go away and it's easier for you instead of let me take the time, let me see what's going on in there and let me think what can I learn from that. I mean can I be open minded and let that culture get into yourself and then, then you can decide, then you can judge, then you can think for yourself, not just keep repeating and repeating what has been said for so many years. Most of those things are not true anymore.

C.M. Mayo: Can you give an example of something that really stands out for you in that way?

Rose Mary Salum: I'm hearing from my friends here it's like, how can you live in the United States?

C.M. Mayo: And Texas. Oh, the prejudice against Texas here is huge!

Rose Mary Salum: [They say] "You cannot socialize with them, you cannot talk to them. They discriminate you."

C.M. Mayo: "They just all go around with their guns."

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly. [Laughing]

C.M. Mayo: Their pickup truck and their gun. [Laughing]

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly. I mean to me that's really foreign to me. I do not see Texas like that.

C.M. Mayo: Well, you're in Houston, which has a very thriving cultural scene.

Rose Mary Salum: Right. Actually, Houston now is so cosmopolitan, so international. You see people from all over the world. It was not like that 15 years ago when I moved.

C.M. Mayo: Really? You've seen a lot of changes.

Rose Mary Salum: A lot of change. A lot of change. A lot of people from Latin America, a lot of people from Europe.

C.M. Mayo: And Mexico, too.

Rose Mary Salum: And Mexico. Even from Asia, a lot of people from India, a lot of people from the Middle East. It's like sometimes when you go out and you see people from all over the world. When people tell me that it's like, I mean, what are you talking about? Why do you keep repeating that? It's not like that. It takes two minutes to sit down and see and let the culture come to you and you can understand that it's not like that.

C.M. Mayo: So you have based Literal Magazine in Houston but you often come to Mexico, you're distributed here in Mexico in all the Sanborns stores, which is a big place to get magazines in Mexico and also the main bookstores here, which would be Gandhi and Sotano. Am I forgetting any?

Rose Mary Salum: Well, no. Then some galleries also.

C.M. Mayo: Because you also publish a lot of art and a lot about art. And Literal Magazine is very sophisticated in that regard, very unusual. I wanted to ask you about that. You clearly have a passion not only for literature and for translation but for art.

Rose Mary Salum: Yes. I'm kind of [one of] those frustrated artists. Most of my life I've been thinking that I should have been a visual artist. But at the same time, what is happening right now in Houston is that there's a movement that I think was ignited by the Museum of Fine Arts when they chose Maricarmen Ramírez as one of the Latin American curators, and she started doing a lot of research and a lot of exhibitions [of] artists from Latin America. Houston has became the center for Latin American art, almost in the world.

C.M. Mayo: More so than Miami?

Rose Mary Salum: I think so. I really think so.

C.M. Mayo: Wow.

Rose Mary Salum: The Latin American art scene in Houston has grown so much and it also happens to be supported by a huge amount of collectors, maybe because of the geographic…

C.M. Mayo: It's easy to get Houston.

Rose Mary Salum: Houston is like the gateway. It's like the place where North America and Latin America get together.

C.M. Mayo: Just physically, you get on the plane from Mexico City and you can be in Houston in what?

Rose Mary Salum: One hour and 45 minutes.

C.M. Mayo: It's a puddle jump.

Rose Mary Salum: Right. I mean once you told me Houston is closer than Washington is. I mean to me it's like if I want to fly to New York, Mexico City is closer. So, going back to the subject that we were talking about, Houston has become the place for Latin American art. I want to witness that. I want Literal to be a witness of what is going on there. I want to cover most of what is happening there.

There are very important artists that are being exhibited in Houston in the Museum of Fine Arts like Carlos Cruz Diez, who is an artist from Venezuela or Antonio Berni, who's from Argentina. Miguel Angel Rojas, who's also from Venezuela. So there's a huge scene and a huge movement that is taking place, and I think we are in the right place at the right moment to cover that.

C.M. Mayo: What has been the response to Literal in Houston?

Rose Mary Salum: It has been great. I could not complain because people are grateful in a way. I mean they've told me that, that something like the quality of Literal is taking place there. I don't want to sound pretentious, it's just that we are missing publications in Spanish and we are missing publications that have the quality, that are showing the excellence of what is being produced in Latin America as well as in the United States. Most of the times, the publications in Spanish, they don't look as beautiful as they should. I'm saying they should because if you want to show your culture, you have to brag [about] what your culture is.

C.M. Mayo: I think design is such a vital part of literary publishing. Not just publishing about art per se but literary publishing. It's a different skill knowing how to do graphic design for a magazine, for a webpage. I think a lot of literary writers and literary editors don't have it. They don't recognize it and yet when they do it's like putting a beautiful painting in a beautiful frame or the frame that it deserves. Without that it's sometimes hard to see it. I'm holding a copy, number 34, of Literal on my lap because it's a big magazine. It's an oversized magazine. Full color, always beautifully designed.

Rose Mary Salum: David Medina Portillo is the one who's designing. He does an excellent job. The other day, we were talking about graphic design. It was really funny to find out that he was also studying to be an architect and he wanted to be a visual artist. I was teasing him. I said no wonder it's so beautiful. You are very good at it.

C.M. Mayo: It really is beautiful. I'm looking at it right now as we speak. I think one of the things is it's very inviting to the eye. You know, your eye does not get tired. When it's not well-designed that often is the case. We don't sometimes realize why we don't come into a text or why we get tired and it's oftentimes just the design.

Rose Mary Salum: Right.

C.M. Mayo: Which doesn't serve the piece. But you have so many interesting pieces. This one is, "How to Change the World." That's "Cómo cambiar el mundo," so it's bilingual. You have interviews with just such an amazing array of people, so it's not just about Americans and people from Latin America. You have an interview here by the mysterious FS and EH with Evgeny Morozov, who's from Belarus. He has plenty to say about Silicon Valley, which is actually pretty interesting.

Rose Mary Salum: Right. He's really young. I didn't know he was that young. He's in his 30s or almost there. He has been talking about Silicon Valley Solutionism. He's criticizing what is going on right now, all the technology. But what is interesting about this issue is the fact that I talked to Rob Rieman. He came to Mexico like five years ago because he was promoting his book, Nobility of Spirit, in Spanish, Nobleza de espíritu. And just by listening to the title I was fascinated. I read the book and it was amazing because he's going back to the humanities. He wants to bring back that sense of, let's go back to the person, let's go back to the human, let's study what is going on around us. Let's not go into technology and let's not forget that we are humans and that we have ideals and that we need the ideals to keep going, otherwise we can get lost.

So when I found out that he was available for being interviewed because of the symposium that he organized in the Nexus Institute, I immediately took advantage of that and I sent a questionnaire and he was really kind in answering all that. It's amazing what he's doing in Europe. Sometimes you need to go outside from America and see what is happening in the world. I thought that was a perfect fit for the magazine, so we decided to interview him and all the people that were participating in that symposium.

C.M. Mayo: It's really a wide ranging issue. It strikes me though as not that unusual in the overall range of what you do. Many of your issues really reach out to very unexpected people, artists, poets, short story writers, novelists from the super-famous to the up and coming. But also thinkers. As you say, from other countries, really I'm always surprised. In every issue I'm surprised by someone I've never heard of saying something that I've never thought of. It's a very stimulating magazine in all senses. Anything but parochial.

Rose Mary Salum: Thank you so much, Catherine. I'm happy that you like that part because some people don't like the fact that sometimes a magazine can be intellectual. But my background is in the humanities. When I studied my degree I studied philosophy, literature, arts and history. You know, it's funny how the other day I was thinking about the magazine and I found out that kind of the magazine is a reflection of that. It has a little bit of everything. It has a part that has to do with philosophy or with thought, people reflecting on an issue that is going on in the world and giving you their perspective.

There's also a section that's about literature. We also give room to poetry, to reviews, to short stories. There's another section that has to do with the arts and there's a section that sometimes— this is not a constant in all the issues— we call it "Flashback." Sometimes we have someone reflecting or thinking about what just happened in the past, bringing that issue into today's world. So, I really enjoy doing the magazine because I enjoy all those subjects. I understand some people do not like that and people have told me, "I don't like your magazine, it's very intellectual." The other day a person told me, "you know, it's too dense for me."

C.M. Mayo: Then it's not for them! [Laughs]

Rose Mary Salum: I mean, it's okay. At the beginning I was mortified by that but now it's like, such is life.

C.M. Mayo: You can't please everybody.

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly. I received a suggestion [from some] people, "you should make it different. You should make it more accessible to people." To be honest, I don't think it's inaccessible. I mean, if you just sit down and read it you can understand everything that's being said there. But on the other side, I think I couldn't do something that I don't believe in to start with. But mainly, if I don't know how to do something that is more commercial, then it will be a disaster. That's what I think. Just might as well stay in the realm of what you know.

C.M. Mayo: But you have a passion for it because that's what really drives bringing it out every month and doing it. It's not an easy thing to do.

Rose Mary Salum: No. It's a lot of work. It's a lot of work and it takes a lot of sacrifice to publish it.

C.M. Mayo: I know. [Laughs] I used to do a bilingual magazine. It's much more work than it looks like. But there are fun moments, too. One of them is when you bring it to the Feria de Libros. A lot of people listening may not know what that is. That's important to have on your cultural radar if you live anywhere in the world, but especially North America.

Rose Mary Salum: Yes. I really enjoy going to the book fairs because then you find the people who really enjoy these kind of publications. To me, it's like a huge luxury to find someone that is really interested in the magazine or people who are collecting the magazine or they want to be published there or they want me to be aware of something that is taking place, something that is happening, something that is being published. To me, it's amazing to go to those book fairs— and also because you get to know new people that you were not aware of them, that they were producing a novel.

I mean at the end, it's impossible to know everything about everybody, so you learn a lot going to the book fairs.

C.M. Mayo: They're pretty impressive. The one you're going to this weekend, we're speaking at the end of November, 2013 as the Feria de Libros in Guadalajara, which is, if I'm not mistaken, the biggest one in Latin America.

Rose Mary Salum: Right. Actually, in the Spanish world it's the biggest in the world right now. I'm not sure if in the future it still will be the book fair in Spanish but it's even bigger than the one in Spain or other places in Latin America. It's really a joy because they also bring people who are from all over the world and Nobel laureates, and so it's great.

C.M. Mayo: It's not something on most Americans' cultural radar. They don't think of that when they think of Mexico. But for the Mexican literary community, really for the community throughout Latin America, that's a mecca. It's an enormously prestigious thing to be able to present your book at the FIL, the Feria de Libros in Guadalajara. So, who's going and see and be seen! [Laughs] It could be a little overwhelming, too.

Rose Mary Salum: It is really overwhelming but many American writers, I've met them in the FIL so that's amazing. There's always a group of people who know about these things that are taking place in Mexico.

C.M. Mayo: This year isn't the fair for Israel? Israel is the country of honor at the FIL and you're presenting a book?

Rose Mary Salum: Yes. I'm presenting a book. It's an anthology but it's called Delta de las arenas, cuentos árabes, cuentos judíos, which is an anthology of Latin American writers who have either Jewish or Arab [heritage]. There are many writers that their parents moved from the Middle East to Latin America and a lot of people who are Jewish who are also writing here. My grandparents are from Lebanon so I've been close to these cultures since my childhood. So, the other day I was invited to put together an anthology of Latin American writers with Arab [heritage]. When I was putting together that anthology it occurred to me that I should create this space of dialogue between these two cultures at the same time with similar backgrounds. It was a joy to put together that anthology and to find out that many Jewish writers had the same perception and the same questions about identity as the Arab writers.

To me, it was a huge discovery and to put it together, it made perfect sense. It was a joy to put together that.

C.M. Mayo: Tell us the title again.

Rose Mary Salum: Delta de las arenas.

C.M. Mayo: How would you put that in English? Delta of the Sands?

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly. Jewish and Arab short stories.

C.M. Mayo: That's a very poetic image.

Rose Mary Salum: It was suggested to me by David Medina. I didn't come up with that title. I had different ideas but when we were talking about the titles and he mentioned that, I said, can I have it?

C.M. Mayo: It's beautiful. Well, many people who don't read in Spanish or are not that familiar with Mexican and Latin American culture are not aware that there really was a very large immigration from the Middle East. When was it? The end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century and that many people in the arts in Latin America and also in business, in academia, in politics, really in all sectors have this background, or partial background. It's really very present once you get outside of Cabo San Lucas or Cancun! [Laughs] Selma Hayek, the famous actress, and of course Carlos Slim. Who are some of the writers that are in your anthology that you're really excited about bringing out?

Rose Mary Salum: For example, Anna Maria Shua. Actually, she has been translated into English and she has her own audience in the United States. She's from Argentina and she's Jewish. Margo Glantz is from Mexico and she's also Jewish and she's won all sorts of awards. Barbara Jacobs, she's also from Mexico but she's half American and half Mexican but her background is all Lebanese. It's funny because her father is from the United States and her mother from Mexico, but with this background. Eduardo Halfon. His grandparents are Arab but at the same time Jewish but he's from Guatemala. So you find all these mixtures that give you or bring you the news that Latin America is a mixture of nationalities.

C.M. Mayo: Very heterogenious ethnically, far more so than it might appear at first glance.

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly. So people will think that in Mexico the population are mestizos. Of course, there are a lot of people like that, but there are so many people from Europe, from Spain, from Asia, from Africa, especially in the Gulf Coast. So, Mexico has a humongous richness in their culture. It's not very well-appreciated. People have the tendency of thinking of Mexicans like, like you were saying, they are [only] good for gardening, or you know, but it's not true. We have this magnificent culture that needs to be known all over the world.

C.M. Mayo: Well, you're doing that with Literal in a very beautiful way.

Rose Mary Salum: Thank you. It's funny, Catherine, when you moved from your own place…and I'm sure this has happened to you. You have the tendency of knowing your country better in a way, appreciate what your country is and also learn other cultures and be more open to those cultures.

C.M. Mayo: That's very true.

Rose Mary Salum: If you're open enough you learn to keep the best of both cultures.

C.M. Mayo: I think too, you can see opportunities. There's certain areas of blindness that we all have when we stay in one place with one point of view and you kind of get yourself out of that little box and then you suddenly say, Oh! There's this opportunity or, nobody's doing that or, how come nobody's doing the other thing? I get the sense that that's very much what happened with this, that there was a big hueco, a big hollow spot. There was a place that needed to be filled that still needs to be filled. And you're doing that with Literal and with the books that you're doing.

Rose Mary Salum: I wish there were more publications that were bridging now to the other country. There are very few. In the past, there was Tameme, your project. There as another one that was called El Corno Emplumado.

C.M. Mayo: That was in the '60s when they were publishing. More recently there's been Mandorla, which is still around. There've been a lot of different things but nothing with the reach of Literal Magazine. You've also stayed with it for 34 issues. I mean, mis respetos! [My respects!]

I think it's harder to do a magazine than it appears. A lot of people get the idea to do it and then, like me, they flake out after a few issues and say, "Oh my God, what did I get into?"

But I think also the bigger challenge of making a bridge is language and quality translation is tough. And then you have to have someone do the copyediting for you in two different languages, and I think a lot of people don't understand how you can be fluent— I mean, but I've lived in Mexico City for 25 years and I translate Mexican writers into English, but believe me, my Spanish is not…I need somebody to translate me or to fix it. So, when I did Tameme I worked with Bertha Ruiz de la Concha, who did the copyediting of the Spanish and also a lot of the translations, but what that means is added expense and more people to deal with. That makes it even harder. We do have these barriers among many other barriers. The biggest one, though, I think is just ignorance and prejudice.

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly. When you work on a project like this you have to handle all sorts of things that are taking place at the same time and you have to be really good at coordinating all those things that are popping up every single day. But when you say that translation is really one of the toughest parts because to find a good translator it's really hard. But the ignorance part is the worst, you are right. Sometimes when I hand the magazine to someone and he or she happens to see a word in English, they will say, "oh, you know I don't speak English. Don't give it to me."

C.M. Mayo: I had that with Tameme! And it always amazed me because I thought it was completely bilingual. Like, "you can read it. It's for you!" They'd be like, "No. Stop for me. Scary. Spanish or English, that's scary."

Rose Mary Salum: It's hard. I mean, sometimes it's disappointing and some other times it's really rewarding. People like it and appreciate it, but mostly I'm doing this for the impulse of connecting the cultures.

Now we are moving to the books. We are moving to the publishing house. This year, we published eight titles.

C.M. Mayo: That's a lot. That's impressive! Tell us about those.

Rose Mary Salum: Well, we have two series. One of the series, it's called "Dislocados" and for that series, I'm working with Gisela Heffes. She's from Rice University. The two of us decided to start this project where we will publish all the writers that are writing in Spanish from the United States.

C.M. Mayo: Which is a big group of people. I'm interrupting you because I'm just passionate about this. When I edited Tameme, I had the idea that it would be the U.S. Mexico and Canada, bilingual, English/Spanish that was my concept. When I started inviting submissions I was astonished at the veritable avalanche, some of it really good in Spanish from the United States. I was really amazed by that. I really didn't appreciate that there was this whole literary scene there, and very high quality, very, very good. I think that's just completely off people's radars.

Rose Mary Salum: You know, what happens when you live in the United States or when you move to the United States you start losing your connections in your literary realm in your country. So when it comes time to publish your own book, you don't have any connections, you don't know anybody. When you send your stuff for submissions nobody even knows who you are and they don't pay attention to your material. Some other people, they just give up and they say, "you know what, I cannot publish this anymore." The more established authors, what they do is they send it to Spain or the big publishing houses in Latin America. What happened with the authors that are not very well-known in the Spanish scene, they get trapped in a limbo. There are no venues where you can [channel] all these productions.

C.M. Mayo: Maybe now it's changing with the blogs. I think a lot of them have started blogs and self-publishing.

Rose Mary Salum: The big publishing houses are understanding that they also need to sell their books in Spanish because they have a lot of people that read in Spanish. So when Gisela and I were talking about this subject we decided to talk to Rice University and we got their support. We started this series that's called Dislocados and so far we have published three books. One is called Poéticas de los Dislocamientos, an anthology of essays about what it means to be writing in Spanish in the United States. So, that was the first book, which was the opening book for giving space or putting the tone to what the answer was going to be all about.

The second book is Diálogo conmigo y mis otros by Isaac Goldemburg. He's from Peru but he's been living in New York for 30 years or so.

The third book is very well-known Chilean writer. Her name is Lina Meruane. Her title is Volverse palestina, which is…

C.M. Mayo: Becoming Palestinian Again.

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly. She lives also in New York and she traveled to Palestine and she decided to write a chronical of her trip there. She is a very well-known writer in Latin America. She's a very good one, so we are very lucky to have that book. The coming books, one is by CarmenBoullosa, and another one is by Gerardo Piña, and another one is by Gisela Heffes. So, next semester we'll have another three books in that series.

And the other series that we have, it's called "Lateral." It's a bilingual series. All the books that we will publish there are bilingual.

C.M. Mayo: So you can read them whether you read in English or Spanish or both.

Rose Mary Salum: Exactly.

C.M. Mayo: That's fantastic! Well, it's a really exciting time to be in publishing. It's a crazy time, but it's an exciting time.

Rose Mary Salum: We were just mentioning that. We were talking about that just a while ago how it can be really scary but at the same time it gives you a lot of freedom if you are creative enough and you have the impulse, you can do very nice things.

C.M. Mayo: Well, what you've done is absolutely beautiful. So if people want to find out more about your books and the magazine, the magazine is distributed in what stores?

Rose Mary Salum: The magazine is distributed here in Mexico in bookstores and Sanborns, in the United States you can either find it in the independent bookstores but also through Amazon or also you can go to our website, which is www.LiteralMagazine.com and you can subscribe there. Many people who receive the magazine are subscribers. People from the United States and Canada, for them it's really easy because the mail system is good. At least it's better than the one in Mexico.

C.M. Mayo: There's a lot of content that you put on the website so even people who aren't subscribing— although it would be wonderful if they also subscribed— you should subscribe! Subscribe! But a person can come and read some of the content on the website and your blog. You also have a Twitter handle, right?

Rose Mary Salum: We have a Twitter account, we have one in Facebook. We have one in Instagram and Pinterest but mostly we are very active in Twitter and Facebook. You're right. We have an archive on our website and you can find all the magazines from the very first one.

C.M. Mayo: That's impressive.

Rose Mary Salum: And it's for free.

C.M. Mayo: Even more impressive!

Rose Mary Salum: Just go there and we have a search box. You put the author you are looking for and the results, you'll get them there. You can download the magazines in a PDF where you can appreciate the nice design that David Medina does, and you can find absolutely everything. Moreover, you can find some of the articles that were published only in English or only in Spanish, you can find them there in both languages.

C.M. Mayo: LiteralMagazine.com. Rose Mary, thank you so much for this fascinating interview. It's really always a pleasure to talk with you.

Rose Mary Salum: Thank you for giving me the space to talk about this project. I appreciate it.

C.M. Mayo: It's an honor. Thank you.


Thanks for listening. To listen in any time to my other conversations with other writers I invite you to visit my webpage, cmmayo.com. Click on digital media and podcasts. There you will find links to listen in to conversations with novelist Sergio Troncoso, author of many works including The Last Tortilla and From This Wicked Patch of Dust. A conversation with historian Michael K Schuessler, author of the biographies of Pita Amor and Elena Poniatowska and editor of Alma Reed's long lost autobiography, Peregrina: Love and Death in Mexico. A conversation with Edward Swift, one of my very favorite writers, author of the memoir My Grandfather's Finger and who lives in Mexico in San Miguel de Allende and often travels into the remote Sierra Gorda for creative inspiration. A conversation with Sarah Mansfield Taber, talking about her extraordinary memoir, one of the books I've ever read, Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy's Daughter. Solveig Eggerz, about her haunting novel based on a true story of Iceland, Seal Woman.

I also host other podcast series, including the "Marfa Mondays Podcasting Project," exploring Marfa, Texas and the greater Big Bend Region of Far West Texas in 24 podcasts.

If you'd like to be alerted when a new podcast is available, I would be delighted to add your name to my email list. You can sign up for my automatic opt-in newsletter on my webpage, cmmayo.com.

Until next time.