Late to this news. Aura Estrada, a 30-year-old Mexican writer and wife of author Francisco Goldman, died in a swimming accident in Mazunte, Oaxaca, in late July. Here is a memorial page at Hunger College, where Estrada was working on an MFA, with links to samples of her writing, photos, and an essay that memorializes Estrada and mourns her loss, by her husband, called "Mi Aura," opening with their first meeting at a bar in Brooklyn:
As if finding a young mexicana reciting George Herbert in a New York bar was not unusual enough, I was struck by her unique, yet oddly familiar, pronunciation: most of the women from Mexico City I know speak English with a soft, almost British-sounding lilt, but Aura’s voice was exuberant, robust, with a slight thrumming raspiness –- the voice of a spirited and wise old Mexican woman, or even of your smartest, most irreverent old Jewish aunt. I even asked her, "How come you speak English like a New York Jew?"
Goldman, who is Jewish-Guatemalan-American, lives in Mexico City and New York. I first met him and Aura the same night, at the party in Polanco that opens my D.F. cover story from last summer, "Down and Delirious in Mexico City." Aura and I shared a short but spirited conversation that night; she told me about a writer's collective she worked with.
Goldman is the author of three novels and the new non-fiction book, "The Art of Political Murder." According to press materials from his publisher, the author is moving along with a planned tour of eight U.S. cities in October. The book is a study of the murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi in Guatemala City in April 1998, shortly after the publication of a massive government report on human atrocities during the 36-year Guatemalan civil war titled Guatemala: Never Again. Bishop Gerardi had written the introduction. The first chapter of "The Art of Political Murder" is strong and enticing.
I am currently reading, or, I should say savoring every page of "The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll," by Alvaro Mutis, in the beautiful translation by Edith Grossman. Francisco Goldman writes the introduction, a rich prelude. Here is Goldman interviewed in Bomb magazine, from which I've borrowed the above image, by Marion Ettlinger, and his recent piece in The New York Review of Books, on "The Great Bolaño," which Intersections blogged here.
As Aura Estrada's memorial page notes, Goldman and she actively translated her writing into English, and he plans on continuing the work.