Narrar lo propio (Migrantes de México en Chicago) was presented at the International Minería Book Fair

27 feb 2024


Narrar lo propio (Migrantes de México en Chicago) was presented at the International Minería Book Fair


The book, a result of a workshop organized by UNAM Chicago and the Directorate of Literature and Reading Promotion, compiles the experiences and challenges of building a new home in another country, as Sylvia Aguilar Zeleny, workshop instructor and compiler of the nine testimonial texts, described.


"The causes for migration are many, not just economic, and this book describes some of its features such as national identity, adaptation, personal transformation, and recognizing oneself as Mexicans in a country where there is hostility about what it means to be one," expressed Laura Vázquez Maggio, professor at the UNAM School of Economics and specialist in international migration, during the presentation.


"The book reminded me of the desire to express oneself and the need for human connection among migrants," said Vázquez, who has dedicated part of her research work to migration in Australia, where she resided.


Olivia Maciel, one of the authors of the nine texts, spoke about the emergence of this book, which marks the beginning of the Workshop collection whose goal is to bring reading and writing closer to diverse groups who, while not professionals in literature, have something very important to share. 


Maciel, a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from the University of Chicago, said that the Windy City, "rich culturally in itself, has been impacted by the Spanish language to the point of having nearly 1.5 million Spanish speakers who have completely modified it." 


These narratives of migrants have created a new literary genre, Spanish Literature in the United States, which has in turn produced emerging publishing houses that are being given unique value at book fairs, in a country with more than 33 million Spanish speakers currently.


Narrar lo propio is a book about commitment because it is written by distinguished representatives, all from the Mexican and Latino community, interested in this migrant boom and eager to share their story in "Chicago, which is the heart of this cultural phenomenon”. 


Eduardo Cerdán, from the Directorate of Literature and Reading Promotion - UNAM, and editor of the book, explained the creative process that led to this workshop and the respect for the language and style of each of the authors. All the texts talk about the diverse and often painful realities that mark the lives of migrants.


 There is an identity aspect that stands out in all the narratives that only occurs in that city: there is a "México in Chicago" because Mexicans bring their country with its culture and richness wherever they go, said Julia Santibáñez, director of Literature and Reading Promotion - UNAM, moderator of the presentation, who thanked Anel Pérez, outgoing director, for the initiative of this project. Writing, she said, is much like migrating because you have to rename everything from the social to the cultural. It involves seeing from another perspective.


In this tumultuous, complex, and ever-changing world, education and books are anchors and beacons of hope, said the rector, Leonado Lomelí, during the inauguration of the International Minería Book Fair, one of the most important in our country.


This book is undoubtedly a beacon of hope for those living the ambivalent reality of being migrants.