The Uncomfortable Dead
The Uncomfortable Dead (or Inconvenient Dead) (orig. Spanish Muertos incómodos) is a Mexican novel written in conjunction by guerrilla spokesman Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and Mexico City crime writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II. The novel is written in the so-called "four hands" method in which one author writes a chapter or segment of the novel, handing it over to the other author who writes the next chapter or segment in response. The method has been compared to a game of ping pong between the authors.
Eng. trans edition cover
|Author||Paco Ignacio Taibo II & Subcomandante Marcos|
|Original title||Muertos incómodos|
|Publisher||La Jornada & (eng. trans Akashic Books)|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Pages||268 pp (Eng. trans edition)|
|ISBN||1-933354-07-0 (Eng. trans edition)|
|LC Class||PQ7298.23.A642 M8413 2006|
The concept for the novel and its unusual writing method was suggested in a letter from Marcos to Taibo II, outlining the "rules and regulations". Within a week of accepting the proposal, the first chapter appeared in La Jornada, an important Mexico City newspaper. The result was nine chapters of material published in La Jornada from November 2004 to February 2005, with the newspaper's editors promising a complete edition of the work in its native Spanish by reputed Spanish language publisher Editorial Planeta. The novel will also be released in book format in Italy, France, United States, Greece, Romania and Turkey.
The story follows Elías Contreras, a Zapatista investigation commission, and Héctor Belascorán, a private detective from Mexico City and recurring character of Taibo's, as they try to unravel the mystery of a dead man leaving messages on answering phones, find out who Morales is. Belascorán is Taibo's main protagonist; Contreras is Marcos's. During the book, and especially during the chapters written by Marcos, the reader is introduced to many characters, some of whom only appear for a very short time. The book looks at the politics of Mexico and at neo-liberalism.
- Online text—link is broken
- 2007 review
- Zapatista detective Review of the English translation, Alberto Manguel, The Guardian, 27 January 2007