Coming off the most successful book of a decorated career—Say Her Name—The Interior Circuit is Francisco Goldman’s timely and provocative journey into the heart of Mexico City.
The Interior Circuit is Goldman’s story of his emergence from grief five years after his wife’s death, symbolized by his attempt to overcome his fear of driving in the city.
Embracing the DF (Mexico City) as his home, Goldman explores and celebrates the city, which stands defiantly apart from so many of the social ills and violence wracking Mexico. This is the chronicle of an awakening, both personal and political, “interior” and “exterior,” to the meaning and responsibilities of home.
Mexico’s narco war rages on and, with the restoration of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (the PRI) to power in the summer’s 2012 elections, the DF’s special apartness seems threatened. In the summer of 2013, when Mexican organized crime violence and death erupts in the city in an unprecedented way, Goldman sets out to try to understand the menacing challenges the city now faces. By turns exuberant, poetic, reportorial, philosophic, and urgent, The Interior Circuit fuses a personal journey to an account of one of the world’s most remarkable and often misunderstood cities.
Praise for THE INTERIOR CIRCUIT
"Much of the pleasure of The Interior Circuit builds on Goldman's knowledge and love of Mexico City and his unabashed personalization of its streets and student dives....If The Interior Circuit is partly Goldman's chronicle of overcoming personal sorrow, it is even more his take on the politics, complexity, romance and vibrancy of one of the great megacities of the world."—Shelf Awareness
"Exquisite...perceptive, funny, and philosophical...Throughout this remarkable book, Goldman is highly attuned to the pulse and rhythm of one of the world’s most captivating cities."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Praise for SAY HER NAME
“Quietly devastating . . . Powerful . . . As the story builds—inevitably, unbearably—toward Aura’s last day, Goldman has so convincingly brought her to life that her death still somehow comes as a shock. . . . Goldman’s beautifully written, deeply felt ode to his wife . . . lets you meet this unusual woman through Goldman’s lovestruck gaze, and you can’t help falling for her a little too. Even after the book ends, the sting of Aura’s absence lingers.” —Entertainment Weekly (A-)
"A masterpiece of storytelling and scene-setting."—Colm Toibin, The Guardian (Best Books of 2011)
"Goldman's searing novel Say Her Name is for me the book of the year. . . . A soaring paean to a brilliant young woman and to the infinite invincible power of love."—Junot Diaz, New York (Favorite Books of the Year)
“Passionate and moving . . . Beautifully written… the truth that emerges in this book has less to do with the mystery of [Aura’s] death . . . than with the miracle of the astonishing, spirited, deeply original young woman Goldman so adored….So remarkable is this resurrection that at times I felt the book itself had a pulse.”—The New York Times Book Review
“To call Francisco Goldman’s book about the death of his young Mexican wife an elegy hardly represents it. Lament is closer, but insufficient. It is a chain of eruptions, a meteor shower; not just telling but bombarding us in a loss that glitters. With the power and fine temper of its writing, it is as much poem as prose. . . . Tense set pieces, respectively heartbreaking and chilling…generate the book’s propulsive drama. What they propel, though, is its most remarkable achievement: the incandescent portrait of a marriage of opposites.”—The Boston Globe
"Say Her Name brings something new to the rime of the grieving survivor: fresh supplies of imagination, ruthlessness and over-the-edge crazy love. . . . The intensity, tenderness and heat of this love is extraordinary; how many of us have ever been loved so well? Or would recognize such love, were it not laid out with such intelligence and precision?” —Newsday
“[Say Her Name] is exhilarating, a testament to love that questions our suppositions about luck, fate, good fortune, and tragedy, and demands our agency in interpreting the narrative arc of an altered life. . . . Goldman’s novel stands as an incisive, diamond-sharp act of love.” —Vanity Fair
“Extraordinary . . . The more deeply you have loved in your life, the more this book will wrench you. . . . In a voice that is alternately lush and naked, lyrical and sardonic, philosophical and wry . . . Say Her Name will transport you into the most primal joy in the human repertoire—the joy of loving…[It] pushes back against the tides of forgetting, and gives Aura a new body, a literary body, to inhabit—a body so vivid that by the end of the book we feel as though we ourselves have met and loved this woman.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Beautiful, raw, haunting . . . [Say Her Name is] a working diagram of love, all its wiring and bolts. . . . Losing a spouse is like contracting an incurable illness. Many medicines will be essayed [but] the only real cure is the return of the lost. Writing a book must present itself as the next best remedy, given . . . how many writers have had recourse to its purgative powers: Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Oates, Calvin Trillin. . . All wrote memorable books about losing their mates. These are essential volumes in the library of grief and remembrance; with Say Her Name, the inimitable powers of poetic fiction are added to the memorial shelf. . . . Writing like this, immediate, hopeful, vibrant, can only be considered an act of creative restoration. It is also a prayer to prevent another loss: forgetting." —Melissa H. Pierson, The Barnes & Noble Review
“A heartbreaking novel of loss and grief.”—O Magazine
“Goldman has called on his formidable resources to tell the story of Aura’s life, their life together and his grief as a widower. . . . Harrowing and often splendid reading . . . these pages manage to bring Aura Estrada back to life. She is unforgettable. Count me glad and grateful to know her name.” —The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Riveting . . . In giving Aura’s imagination—as well as her impish humor, her anxieties, her academic and creative struggles, her writing, her love—room to play, Goldman, remarkably, vividly, brings her to life.” —Bookpage
“An earthy, sexy book . . . Say Her Name resonates with sense of place and grasp of character. . . . [Goldman] describes Aura so vividly it is as though she regains life as a free spirit of remarkable imagination.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"In telling the story of an exuberant young woman coming into her own as a scholar and writer, [Francisco Goldman] finds a kind of haunted solace—and tremendous commemorative power...Published as fiction, Goldman's tribute to his late wife rings devastatingly true." —Vogue
“Goldman's power of description lulls you into forgetting that you're reading a tragedy. . . . He blurs the line between lover and biographer. . . . [Say Her Name] is a map of grief and work and missed chances " —NPR.org
“[Say Her Name] unfolds as a sequence of long flashbacks leading toward Aura’s death, which ticks grimly through the narrative like a bomb. . . . Trapped in a Chinese puzzle box of anguish, [Francisco Goldman] revisits moments, words, thoughts, anecdotes and images. His life with Aura seems still to be happening inside him, playing itself over and over, inevitably interrupted but never ended.” —The Washington Post
“Say Her Name is the real thing—350 mesmerizing pages that don’t fit the usual script. . . . Honest and exquisitely written . . . alove story with real emotional power.” —*The Seattle Times *
“Wrenching . . . The story moves inexorably toward [Aura’s] death, but along the way it beautifully preserves the mementos of her life . . . touched with essential and painful wisdom about love.” —Wall Street Journal
"Thanks to Goldman’s powers of revivification, Aura [is] about as forgettable as Cleopatra. Both a beautiful evocation of love and loss, and a searing dispatch written from within a personal Ground Zero. . . . [Say Her Name is] the must-read novel of the summer.” —Sunday Times (UK)
“This is a beautiful love story, and an extraordinary story of loss. Say Her Name has a forensic honesty, a way of treating each detail, each moment, each emotion, with detailed and exact care. It also has a way of holding the reader, of moving between Brooklyn and Mexico City, capturing the essence of two worlds, capturing the essence of two people who were lucky enough to fall in love.” —Colm Toibin, author of Brooklyn
"There is beautiful writing in this book—beautiful, perceptive descriptions of places, beautifully turned assaults on the citadel of loss, on the firmament of love and passion, indelible glimpses of the self as bedlam. And thank goodness it's so, because it is such a sad story that only beauty could possibly redeem it." —Richard Ford
“We may feel we know something about love’s burn, the scorching heat of loss, but reading this book is to stand in front of a blow-torch, to take a farrier’s rasp to raw nerve ends. Say Her Name is wrenching, funny, powerful, and beautiful.” —Annie Proulx
“The madness of love, of death, of loss, of literature—Say Her Name is madness knit up into magnificence. We can only suspect that Francisco Goldman is an alchemist, or a magician, or a Faust, or a Job, or all of these things, for with no breathing equipment, he has mined a pearl from the ocean’s darkest depths. This book is fabulous in every sense of the word.” —Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances
“A beautiful act of remembrance, love and understanding. An essential, unforgettable love story and a living testament to an extraordinary woman.” —Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
“Say Her Name is a tender and sacred narrative, many-angled, fearless, incandescent in its frankness. As I read it, I felt I were reading something more alive than life itself, and thought this is surely why one reads, why one writes: that one might mingle oneself with a beloved person, a book, a landscape, and hold it utterly alive.” —Kiran Desai, author of The Inheritance of Loss
“Enrapturing . . . Vivid . . . Goldman has entwined fact and fiction in his previous novels, but never so daringly or so poignantly. . . . Tender, candid, sorrowful, and funny, this ravishing novel embodies the relentless power of the sea, as hearts are exposed like a beach at low tide only to be battered by a resurgent, ...
About the Author
Francisco Goldman is the author of the novels: Say Her Name; The Long Night of White Chickens, winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction; The Ordinary Seaman, a finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and The Divine Husband. His last book of non-fiction, The Art of Political Murder, was awarded the Index on Censorship’s TR Fyvel Freedom of Expression Book Award.