Managua Mon Amour (Nevermore). By Marc Zimmerman. ISBN:13: 978-0-915745-57-9. LCCN: 2020946583 6"x 9", B&W on cream paper, 460 pgs. $22.95
“Every time Marc Zimmerman publishes a new book, I celebrate. He is a wonderful writer.” Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Into the Beautiful North and The Hummingbird's Daughter.
Is it a memoir-like novel or a novel-like memoir? Both epic and personal, Zimmerman's new book tells how his divorced Jewish American protagonist, Mel, marries Lena, a brilliant Central American activist-intellectual and endangers his academic career. He and Lena participate in anti-war, anti-Fascist and pro-Latino rights struggles; both join in Nicaragua’s anti-somocista movement, while Lena continues on her academic path and Mel fights to keep his intellectual calling alive even as he takes on jobs that have him fighting against Franquista executions, Mexican worker exploitation, sexual abuse, and drug-dealing gang violence. Breaking up and then joining up again, Lena and Mel work in the Sandinista Revolution, only to separate again, with Mel finding work in a Cuban refugee camp and finally winning a university home in a journey that painfully ends his closest human relationship.
The author’s Sandino on the Border tells parts of this story. But here is the complete account, of each issue and mistake, every adventure and misadventure, in a narrative marked by thwarted ambitions, struggle, conflict, and heartbreak about a man and woman seeking to resolve their conflicts as they move from San Diego and Mexican borderlands to Europe, Minnesota, Caracas, Nicaragua and Chicago.
“Zimmerman’s Illusions of Memory series [mixes] memoir, diary, Bildungsroman, travelogue and short story collection [bringing] together the quotidian and world-historical … with a jazzy, dissonant vibe. I know of nothing like it in contemporary American fiction.” John Beverley, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh, author of Against Literature and Subalternity and Representation.
Marc Zimmerman’s memoir fictions include Martín and Marvin, The Italian Daze, and The Short of It All, as well as Genesis, Two Ways West, No Light from Heaven, and The Border Trilogy (Floricanto Press, 2016-2020). Managua Mon Amour (Nevermore), the final, culminating book of his Illusions of Memory series, Cycle I is a book in which memories tend toward fictional form while representing the author’s life and the many marking his path from birth to his end.