Yuri Herrera Rejects the Clichés of the Drug War

The hero of Kingdom Cons, a newly translated novel by the Mexican author Yuri Herrera, is a singer named Lobo. A street kid left by his parents with just his wit and his accordion, he earns change singing “corridos,”folk ballads,in cantinas in the seedier quarters of an unnamed desert city. For Lobo, “life had been a counting off of days and dust and sun,” until one day he sings a corridofor a big shot dealer known as the King; the song wins Lobo the King’s favor and he moves into...

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