A VISIT TO ALLÁ, THE BEST SPANISH LANGUAGE BOOKSTORE NORTH OF THE BORDER
So many writers and translators over the years have told me about Allá (I mean you, José Skinner, Raymond Caballero, Patricia Dubrava...) I could not imagine visiting Santa Fe without seeing it. I had heard that Allá was on the southwest corner of the Plaza, but on my previous visit to Santa Fe, I couldn't find it. This time, armed with the precise address, 102 West San Francisco St, and my smartphone's map app, I discovered that it is a little ways past southwest corner of the Plaza, and you won't find a sign on the street. However, as you can see in the photo below, there is a reference— Allá Arte- Libros - Música— pasted in between some steps on the stairs.
So head on up to the second floor, hang a right, and there you may enter into the bright warren of rooms all filled with tesoros, both literary and scholarly—and if you're lucky, meet the owner himself, James J. Dunlap.
Yes, here you can find Mexican writers such as Agustín Cadena and Mónica Lavín. And bless his corazón, he had books on Mexico in English by my amigos, Bruce Berger and David Lida and... drumrrrrrrroll... he had two of my books sitting out on the table, Mexico A Traveler's Literary Companion and Sky Over El Nido, and he said he had just recently sold another title, Miraculous Air, my memoir of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.
|[[ JAMES J. DUNLAP, ALLÁ IN SANTA FE ]]|
Speaking of miracles, my luggage accommodated the pile of books I hauled out of there, including some Mexican scholarly works on the Apaches and Comanches that, from Mexico City, I have been trying to hunt down for over a year. Somehow I also took home a fat hardcover first edition of a memoir of life among some indigenous people in Tierra del Fuego. Visit Allá at your own risk! If you dare, tell Jim that Mayo told you to ask about a-gogo and psícadelico.
> See also the article by Uriel J. Garcia in Santa Fe New Mexican, "Allá Bookstore is Santa Fe Man's Portal to Latin America"
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