Mexico City – Mexico's Paco Ignacio Taibo II reminisced with dozens of readers, as well as fellow writers and compatriots Fabrizio Mejia Madrid and Elena Poniatowska, during an event to celebrate his 30 years as a novelist, historian and journalist.
Taibo II was honored by Mexican cultural authorities during the gathering, which was held Tuesday at this capital's Palace of Fine Arts as part of the "Leading Figures of Mexican Literature" cycle.
"Life gives you these honors and I didn't get here by myself, but rather accompanied by a ton of readers and writers," the 62-year-old university professor and author of more than 40 works published in 21 countries told Efe.
According to the author of biographies on Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Pancho Villa, literature has served as a "mirror" that looks deeply at societies and "in times like these (is) the oxygen we need."
Taibo II said that though he is over the age of 60 he feels like a "teenager" and hopes to write another 40 literary works in the coming years to continue experiencing the "pleasure of writing and talking with people who read (his books)."
During the tribute, a word he says he dislikes because "it sounds like you're dead," the author told participants he admires "the resilience of the Mexican people."
"Repression, unemployment and the many faces of this generation who have been rejected but never stop struggling are the aspects and faces I value and that inspire me," he said.
Poniatowska, for her part, praised the crime novelist, winner of the Planeta novel award in 1992 and three-time winner of the International Dashiell Hammett Prize, as a "key figure in Mexican literature."
During the ceremony, she teased Taibo by describing him as an "anarchist (and) communist" who is also a big seller in the United States.
Taibo II shared some stories from his childhood during the gathering, noting that a book on Robin Hood and his defense of the poor and oppressed that his father gave him at age five was the first to have a powerful impact on him.
The author is currently is working on a story about the battle of the Alamo that he said is "unsuitable for Hollywood."