ROLE MODELS IN literature and journalism were scarce for me when I was growing up. Even through my 20s, as a young reporter out of college, few writers who reflected my reality were published widely in U.S. mainstream fiction and non-fiction. At first I read John Cheever and John Updike, as far from the 'hood in L.A. as I was from soirees in the Hamptons. Homeboy, Run. Then I read global writers based in other countries for inspiration. Strong, bold voices such as Salman Rushdie, Yukio Mishima, James Baldwin. One of those writers, Carlos Fuentes, the renowned Mexican novelist and journalist, died on Tuesday. If you wanna blow your mind, try reading Terra Nostra, his epic global novel to end all novels. Oddly, that morning I was digging through musty boxes in the closet when I found an old, yellowed manuscript that I hadn't touched in 21 years. Big psychological block there. The epigraph I had chosen to guide readers into the manuscript was by Fuentes. It goes:
"What is your name? What is the name of this mountain, this river? Who are your father and mother? Who are your brothers? . . . If you do not name, no one will name."
- Carlos Fuentes, "The Novel of the Americas: Dreaming in Spanish."
- Paris Review, "Carlos Fuentes, the Art of Fiction No. 68," interview by Alfred Mac Adam and Charles E. Ruas.
- Daily Beast, "Carlos Fuentes, Mexico's Universal Man of Letters, Dies at 83" by Mac Margolis.
- NPR, "A Fleeting Memory of Carlos Fuentes" by Linton Weeks.
- LATimes, "Carlos Fuentes dies at 83" by Reed Johnson and Ken Ellingwood.