Read an Excerpt

Get a sneak peek at two selected essays from This is Mexico: “A Conversational Fugue in Three Parts, No Harmony” and “The Rhythm of Religion.”

read an excerpt

This is Mexico is a collection of essays on the often magical and mysterious—and sometimes heartrending—workings of everyday life in Mexico, written from the perspective of an American expatriate. By turns humorous and poignant, Merchasin’s stories provide an informed look at Mexican culture and history, exploring everything from healthcare, Mexican-style, to religious rituals, and from the educational role of the telenovela to the cultural subtleties of the Spanish language.

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Advanced Praise

In her touching memoir, Carol Merchasin has captured the colors and chaos, the tastes and the trials that make up life in the city of San Miguel de Allende. In a refreshingly honest voice, Merchasin shows how weapons became fireworks and dangers morphed into kindness. She isn’t afraid to show her naivety at the culture she finds, nor her surprise at how it comes to seduce her. Indeed, her candor is what makes this memoir unique. In her beguiling way, Merchasin draws us into a country open to life, and a people who opened to her, as she did to them.
Mary Morris, author of Nothing to Declare
Carol Merchasin’s essays about Mexico nail the people, the culture, the experience of living here, the tender relationships. I want to give it to all my friends who wonder why I live here. The essays are accurate, nuanced, entertaining, enlightening. The writing is elegant and ranges from touching to hilarious. If you have any interest in Mexico, don’t miss this book. 
Susan Page, Director, San Miguel Writers' Conference and Literary Festival
Carol Merchasin writes about San Miguel de Allende with affection and self-effacing wit, even as she mulls the contradictions and imperfections of her adopted country. This Is Mexico is wise and funny and true.
Gerard Helferich, author of Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin
A warm, witty and lively recounting of settling into life in San Miguel.
Tony Cohan, author of On Mexican Time: A New Life in San Miguel and Mexican Days: Journeys into the Heart of Mexico.
With writing that’s as persuasive as a legal brief and as funny as your favorite relative’s best stories, Carol Merchasin captures the daily confusion of living in Mexico, a country filled with local characters reminiscent of Peter Mayle’s rustic French neighbors. Smart. Witty. Warm. Engaging and enlightening, this is a brilliant gem of a memoir.
Mark Saunders, author of Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak
In the good-hearted tradition of Jack Smith’s classic of the gringo-in-Mexico memoir, God and Mr. Gómez, Carol Merchasin’s This Is Mexico recounts a ‘recovering lawyer’s’ adventures and many lessons in learning to live south of the border.
C.M. Mayo, author of Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution
I am enchanted with Carol Merchasin´s description of Mexico. I have lived seventy of my ninety-four years in Mexico and still wonder whether the plumber’s reply to, “When can you fix it?” (“Mañana”) means day after tomorrow, next week, or call another plumber. She captures the chaos, the music, the pure joy of living here.
Kathryn Blair, author of In the Shadow of the Angel; Forging A Nation: The Story of Mexico From the Aztecs to the Present
This is Mexico: Tales of Culture and Other Complications is one more thing to celebrate about living south of the border. Written with wit and humor, rich with insight and incident, it tells the story of one couple’s journey into expat life, with all its accommodations. It is at once authoritative, yet intimate and personal, and blessed with humanity throughout. A valuable addition to the expat literature, it is dependably interesting from start to finish.
John Scherber, Author of Living in San Miguel: The Heart of the Matter, and a series of twelve mysteries set in San Miguel de Allende.
This is a delightful book. It made me ponder, smile, laugh out loud. Merchasin’s droll take on the unfamiliar and unlikely is a tonic, and she loves Mexico, and its people, as I do.
Alice Walker