Friday, November 20, 2009

Mexico City Noir and the Six Word Story

Mexico City Noir
edited by Paco Ignacio Taibo II
Akashic Books - February, 2010

I recently learned about this upcoming book - here's the publisher's announcement:

Launched by the summer '04 award-winning, best-seller Brooklyn Noir, Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city.

Mexico City enters the Noir Series arena, edited by one of Mexico's most revered novelists.

Brand-new stories by: Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Eugenio Aguirre, Eduardo Antonia Parra, Bernardo Fernandez Bef, Oscar de la Borbolla, Rolo Diez, Victor Luiz Gonzalez, F.G. Haghenbeck, Juan Hernandez Luna, Myriam Laurini, Eduardo Monteverde, and Julia Rodriguez.

It's hard to get much more noir than Mexico City, and after several years' effort, Akashic was finally able to rope Paco I. Taibo into curating this dramatic, chilling, and frequently hilarious volume.

Paco I. Taibo II was born in Gijon, Spain and has lived in Mexico since 1958. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, which have been published in many languages around the world, including a mystery series starring Mexican Private Investigator Hector Belascoaran Shayne. He is a professor of history at the Metropolitan University of Mexico City.

This is the first book on my TBR file for 2010.

Six Word Story

Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway thought his best story had only six words:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

That's a very good story but Hemingway probably didn't write it, and I can't find a reliable source that says he took credit for the six words. At this point in time, it doesn't really matter, does it? The six words have a beginning, middle and end; a set-up, tension, a twist, and climactic finish; all wrapped in admirable brevity and poignancy. We want to believe the legend because the story fits with what we want to believe about Hemingway. In any event, the idea that short is good (those of us under 6 feet already know this to be true) has caught on and there are numerous six word story contests online. Just search six word story and read any of the 65,900,000 results.

You know what's next. Let's see your six word stories. Post them in a comment to La Bloga. So far there are only two rules: six words, no more, no less; and the six words have to be a story, not a wise saying, not a dicho, not a line of poetry. Other than that, the field is wide open.

The deadline for posting your story as a comment to this post is November 23, by midnight (MST). I'll pick the winner but I will take into consideration any comments that praise particular entries, so, in a sense, you get to be a judge, too. The winner will get a copy of my new book, King of the Chicanos, when it is published in the spring of 2010.

This is harder than it sounds and since I know you can do better than I, here are a few six word stories to set up the challenge:

Late night affair, early morning heartbreak.

He died; they discovered the medal.

She stood her ground, he fired.

Letters torn, photos burned, locks changed.



Viva Liz Vega! said...

Saddest Sun Set when they married

Manuel Ramos said...

A tragedy in six words. Excellent. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

rubber soles, rainy day, unforgetable fall.

Anonymous said...

I'm playing for fun, not to win the book, which I intend to purchase.


Make my day. Keep getting up.

He made my quota--sixteen mescans.

Hitting her transported him. Today, precipitously.

Cut my carotid neatly--not there!


With their saliva, babies vivified mud.

Scintillating strokes, everlasting thrusts . . . then rainbows.


Manuel Ramos said...

More great pieces with vivid imagery; this could be a tough choice. La Bloga readers are a talented bunch -- keep the six words coming.