The store will maintain normal hours until 6 PM close on Saturday the 21st, after which we will only open by appointment (which can be arranged by writing to If you have books to trade for credit please try to bring them before then. Hoping the virus situation passes and we can get back to normal soon. This will only happen if we take careful precautions in the meantime. Good luck, and hang in there.

We are open

March 18th, 2020

Want to just put this here to let people know we are staying open until further notice – but taking careful precautions against the Coronavirus: social distancing, washing hands after every transaction, and keeping all the windows and doors open. We can only offer credit for books brought in right now, because who knows what will happen next. And know that even if we close our doors, we will remain open by appointment (arrange by emailing

Meanwhile, check out the big love from MXCity Insider’s Guide, who call us the best English bookstore in the city, and say we might have the biggest and largest selection of titles in the whole country!

We will be closed on Monday, March 9th in solidarity with the women fighting for respect, security and justice calling for #UnDiaSinMujeres.

New entrance

February 1st, 2020

Please enter the building through the blue door next to our logo until further notice. I knew I put that there for a reason.

We want your books

January 28th, 2020

ESPECIALLY: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Sherman Alexie; Margaret Atwood; James Baldwin; John Berryman; John Bilger; Elizabeth Bishop; Roberto Bolaño; Ryan Boudinot; Jane Bowles; Paul Bowles; Ray Bradbury; Charles Bukowski; Mikhail Bulgakov; Octavia Butler; George Gordon, Lord Byron; Truman Capote; Anne Carson; Raymond Carver; Raymond Chandler; John Cheever; Liu Cixin; Te-Nehisi Coates; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Alain de Boton; Angela Davis; Philip K Dick; Joan Didion; G.B. Edwards; Jennifer Egan; George Eliot; T.S. Eliot; William Faulkner; Elena Ferrante; William Finnegan; Robert Frost; Carlos Fuentes; William Gaddis; Gabriel Garcia Márquez; Jack Gilbert; Allen Ginsberg; Francisco Goldman; Robert Graves; Ioan Grillo; Shirley Hazzard; Michael Herr; Herrmann Hesse; Geoffrey Hill; Chester Himes; bell hooks; Kazuo Ishiguro; Marlon James; Denis Johnson; James Joyce; Franz Kafka; Karl Ove Knaussgaard; Rachel Kushner; Charles Lamb; Philip Larkin; Ursula LeGuin; David Lida; Norman Mailer; Thomas Mann; Cormac McCarthy; Carson McCullers; Yukio Mishima; Toni Morrison; Haruki Murakami; Vladimir Nabokov; Flannery O’Connor; Octavio Paz; Mervyn Peake; Sylvia Plath; Edgar Allan Poe; Elena Poniatowska; Ezra Pound; Thomas Pynchon; Juan Rulfo; Rumi; W.G. Sebald; Anne Sexton; Wallace Shawn; Percy Shelley; Zadie Smith; Gertrude Stein; John Steinbeck; George W.S. Trow; William T. Vollmann; Kurt Vonnegut; David Foster Wallace; Colson Whitehead; Walt Whitman; Oscar Wilde; Angus Wilson; VIrginia Woolf… 50% more for credit over cash, and better deals than you’ll get anywhere else!

We are open daily again except Sundays, for a good long while. Come on in! (And bring us your books!)

Come party with us in celebration of the Bicentenary of the greatest writer in the English language.

Yeah, I said it.

Celebrate the greatness of Mary Ann Evans, better known as George Eliot with a lecture and readings, excellent food and drinx from the Legión Americana and spinning vinyl courtesy of DJs Tejón and Desertdeer.

November 22, at 7 PM, No cover

We are honored this July 3rd at 7 PM to present local translating phenom Julianna Neuhouser (Rebellion in Patagonia by Oswald Bayer (AK Press); The Iguala 43 by Sergio González Rodríguez (Semiotext(e)) with her new English translation of Field of Battle by Sergio González Rodríguez (Semiotext(e)).

The author, who died of natural causes on April 3, 2017, was a heavy metal rocker and journalist for Reforma who was widely recognized and won prizes in Germany and Spain for his brave coverage of the epidemic of femicides in Ciudad Juarez. Julianna produced the English translation of his groundbreaking book on the 43 disappeared students in Guerrero on the night of September 26, 2014, also published by Semiotext(e) and now has rendered into English González Rodríguez’s  Campo de guerra (2014), an examination of the social, political and economic roots of the narco war.

David Lida is the author of perhaps the best book in English about Mexico, First Stop in the New World: Mexico City, Capital of the 21st Century (Riverhead, 2009); a book of stories titled Travel Advisory (Morrow, 2000), and most recently, a novel, One Life (Unnamed Press, 2016) which brings the trauma of the migrant experience at our border into the horror of the American Gulag. David wrote the introduction to Julianna’s translation of Field of Battle and will appear in introductory fashion on the night as well.

Please join us on July 3rd at 7 PM.

Buncha Gringo Poet Dudes

April 24th, 2019

Monday, April 29th at 8 PM, the store will host three American poets in the city, featuring readings by Dylan Angell (NY), Ian Collins (CA), William Savinar (DF).

New York-based poet Dylan Angell will read from ‘Sinking Windows’, a bilingual collection of observational poems and prose pieces written in April of 2019 while in attendance at the Mexico City-based arts residency, The Lab Program. Dylan will also read from his previous books. Copies of all of his books will be for sale at the event.

Ian Collins is a writer, musician, and manual laborer from the California desert. His prose poems are comprised of the unknowing, the anxious, the unfinished, the zenned-out; broadcast like cartoons from a clandestine station. Ian has been living in Mexico City for four months.

William Savinar, a writer and English teacher living in Mexico City, will read from his recent poetry chapbook ‘The Naked Gallows’ ($150MX). Savinar writes research-based analysis and creative nonfiction on narcos and the drug war and plays drums in the band Municiones Improvisadas.

Denis Johnson is dead

May 26th, 2017

When someone close to you ceases to be, there is a numbness that comes on: if they are foundational enough, the fugue time may last years, or hang in like an annex that surprises you some days, for the rest of your time. The love will never be again something that exists between you and that other person. You will forever only talk to them in your head, unanswered.

When it’s someone you didn’t know personally, but whose work or vision became part of who you are, it’s slipperier. But still, the silence of shock. (And like with the loss of someone close you see your own end draw nearer and flutter each few seconds between panic and calm acceptance, neither lasting long enough to form a thought.) But I think that it is incumbent on anyone in my position – a bookstore owner, a reader in the last decades of the 20th century – to try and lay my thoughts down, which only come as I now try to find them.

For that dark decade at the end of the Cold War, when nearly all media was just a one-way flood of lowest common denominator noise, Denis Johnson’s early novels were like communiques on the battlefield of that now lost America. They pulled you in and pulled at you, like the kind of dreams you wake from with your head feeling like freshly plowed earth and with some untraceable confidence gained in that magic chamber. There was ‘Angels’, whose raw beauty seemed to find the hidden truths deep in the distracting mess of the country, to strip its gears naked to watch them go. Years, then ‘Fiskadoro’ – and if you were my age you found that one first, in its Vintage Contemporaries new wave jacket – where he dared to look under the nightmare we all lived in the shadow of, and imagine the Hendrix-worshipping survivors of the nuclear apocalypse, in Key West (renamed Twicetown, for two dud Cuban nukes towering out of the sand). This was long before ‘The Road’ or Atwood’s deep forays into futurism: books then either were well-written and about bric-a-brac, or badly written about the great fear that held us in thrall. ‘The Stars at Noon’ was already out, harder to find, and immediately I was hearing lines from the book I’d just read come out of the stereo speakers in the voice of Kim Gordon (“To the extent that I wore skirts and cheap nylon slips, I’ve gone native. I wanted to know the exact dimensions of hell… Does this sound simple? Fuck you! Are you for sale? Does fuck you sound simple enough? This was the only part that turned me on, that he was candy all over… Come on down to the store, you can buy some more, more, more, more…”)

More years, and shocking reportage from the front of the Gulf War, and ‘Resuscitation of a Hanged Man’, which perfectly painted a doomed narrator whose finger seemed to point out of the book and say “you’re next”. Very soon after, Johnson cooked his product down to a slim volume of very short stories that became like samizdat in the recently dissembled Soviet Union, passed hand to hand, read aloud over the radio, the telephone. (“That world! These days it’s all been erased and they’ve rolled it up like a scroll and put it away somewhere. Yes, I can touch it with my fingers. But where is it?”) ‘Jesus’ Son’ became a phenomenon, and a movie, and a kind of pocket dream-life for people who balanced on the high wire edge of drugs and alcoholism, with just enough instinct for self-preservation to avoid jail and the streets. Its success brought out a collection of the free verse he’d written in the years before the first novel, when he’d been a poet.

I had the only copy in a hundred miles of the book that came five years later, ‘Already Dead (A California Gothic)’ when I attended the Sewanee Writers’ Conference the summer of 1997. Writers put their nose to the ground, have shitty taste in music. The teachers and students who enviously eyed my new Johnson as I sprawled rapt in the heat staring into it were a kind of cognoscenti. The following year I happened to be driving though Austin on the very day he was to read at UT. I called a friend I’d lost track of, who’d been a noble and dear lover, who the person who answered the phone told me was dead. I was in desperate mourning my traveling companion could not alleviate. And Johnson was reading: we went. His ultra-casual style of presentation led him to offer to take requests. I asked for the long poem ‘The Skewbald Horse’ and for the next half hour he read that weird period piece with its sad, existential close, and we poured out into the Texas summer night. (Ten years later, in a bizarre, Johnsonian turn of events, I found out I’d been pranked: my friend hadn’t died at all.) I cannot help reflect that Johnson was then the age that I am now.

And then, there was a falling-off. A dull novel about academia, and then the thickest of his works, a sprawling mess of a Vietnam War prequel to the first novel that won the National Book Award for no other reason than it was high time. But meantime there were plays, that took place in motel rooms at the possible literal end of the world, boiling his trademark rants and word salad into the finest, hair-raising concentrate. And almost as soon as he seemed washed-up, three great short books of the kind that made his reputation: ‘Nobody Move’, ‘Train Dreams’ and ‘The Laughing Monsters’.

Johnson wrote about hard-luck cases with a Catholic’s belief in redemptive suffering. Not a big interview-giver, living in Idaho, the writer was always something of a mystery. He wasn’t, as was rumored, Catholic – or maybe he was! – after finding his books in a gay bookstore in the early 90s I mistakenly believed for years that he was gay. The time he put in, hospitalized for alcoholism time and again through what sounds like a very rambunctious early adulthood, dabbling in heroin and the ‘hard drugs’ laid the carpet for the liver cancer that killed him. Drugs, drink, and writing, music and dance and the plastic arts, are how the most world-wounded get by. There is some wide scale pan on which that early hardcore boozing sits with his sobriety and his books to form some unaccounted equation. The scroll is put away and we file behind him to move out of the world, shining the while as best we can. Such terrific books.