Allegro for Life by Earl Vincent de Berge, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I met the author and his wife, Suzanne, several years ago over lunch in Phoenix discussing fundraising strategies for an NGO they set up in Guatemala, “Seeds for a Future,” which provides training to impoverished rural women in and around Chocolá on the South coast, to improve family access to food and nutrition. I soon learned that we not only shared a love and appreciation of Guatemala and the Desert Southwest, but that Earl was also a writer and, in his case, a poet as well. I was surprised to learn that he started writing as far back as 1959 […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch, My Special Edition, January, 2022 Issue

  Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, Several author friends have asked what the basis for my passion and concern about Guatemala is, which I answer in my “Special Edition” column in the Arizona Authors Association newsletter. In our Culture Watch, I’ll reflect on the implications of a lack of consensus around the “Build Back Better” plan while the Senate approves a record budget for our military on a bi-partisan basis. Amongst all the craziness, a sense of humor is a must, so I’ve included Just Keep Laughing.  My Writing, Interviews and Reviews, Voices of the Day, and […]

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Harsh Times by Mario Vargas Llosa, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  Harsh Times by Mario Vargas Llosa Reviewed by Mark D. Walker I immediately picked up this book upon learning it was available in English, as its story is so relevant to the challenges facing Guatemala today. I’m producing a documentary on immigration and social justice challenges in Guatemala, Trouble in the Highlands, and this book deals with international intrigue and the control of land by international/U.S. corporations. A Peruvian writer, Llosa is one of Latin America’s most significant novelists and some critics consider him to have had a larger international impact and worldwide audience than any other writer in […]

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The Green Pope by Miguel Angel Asturias, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

     I initially read this book years ago in Spanish but decided to read and review it in English as its story is so relevant to the challenges facing Guatemala today. I’m also producing a documentary on immigration and social justice challenges in Guatemala, Trouble in the Highlands and this book deals with land tenure and the control of land by international/U.S. corporations. And the author is a Nobel Prize winner for literature. Much of my documentary and Asturias’s works are inspired by the Maya culture in the highlands of Guatemala. This is an overarching theme which influenced the […]

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The President by Miguel Angel Asturias, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I’d read this Latin American classic in Spanish years ago, but decided to read it again in English in order to share it with a broader audience. Although it was published before I was born, it’s relevant today, as it portrays the damaging psychological impact of a totalitarian government and the brutality it will go through to maintain power—a phenomenon all too real to Guatemalans today. Much to my surprise, my Guatemalan wife had to read this when she was in seventh grade – something I wouldn’t recommend for today’s students in the U.S. even though it’s been translated into […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch: Democracy Under Siege, The June Edition

Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, The January 6 attempted take over of the US Congress in an attempt to change Presidential results bore to the world the growing deterioration of democratic institutions and traditions here which will be the focus of this month’s Dispatch. I’ll have a few announcements and an update on our documentary film and as always include basic segments such as Culture Watch, My Writing / the Documentary & Book/Movie Reviews . We’ll look to Voice of the Day for inspiration, some comic relief with Just Keep Laughing and we’ll check in with What Others Are Saying. Just click on the poster above for an update […]

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Monkey Boy by Francisco Goldman, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  The Long Night of White Chickens was my introduction to Francisco Goldman, the author who I selected to review due to his connections to Guatemala, and I’ve been a fan ever since.  Though born in Boston, his mother is a Catholic Guatemalan, his father Jewish American, so his life started off with an intriguing combination of influences. The book is a tense, almost surrealistic detective story that opens windows on the Latin American reality of State Sponsored assassinations, marabunta youth gangs and organized crime. His next book, Say Her Name, is an evocative story of love and loss between […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch, “The US in an Age of Constant War,” May 2021

  The U.S. In an Age of Constant War Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, As the U.S. continues to depend on military solutions to deal with an ever-growing number of problems locally and around the world, militarization will be the focus of this month’s Dispatch. Basic segments will include the Culture Watch, My Writing the Documentary & Book/Movie Reviews.  We’ll look to Voice of the Day for inspiration, and for some comic relief, with a new Just Keep Laughing when that’s all we can do, as well as What Others Are Saying. Just click on the poster above for my latest book reviews in “The Million Mile Walker Review: What We’re […]

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“Crossing Borders, Building Bridges: A Journalist’s Heart in Latin America, by Maria E. Martin, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I first became aware of the author at a “Peace Corps Connect” conference in Austin, Texas in 2019 where she was on a panel on “Crossing Borders” with several experts on immigration including the Guatemalan filmmaker, Luis Argueta. Recently, I heard her program on immigration in Guatemala, which aired on the public radio program “Reveal.”  I contacted her once I learned that she was the head of the “Gracias Vida Media Center” in Antigua, Guatemala, which was when I learned about her new book, which was published by Conocimientos Press. This book is an inspiring account of the author’s work […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch, March, Drama on the Border: No Easy Solutions

Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, As the number of asylum-seeking migrants, including unaccompanied minors, crossing the southwest border of the U.S. soared to 3,500 a day in February, and the number of unaccompanied minors from Central America rose 60%, many of us are asking, “What’s going on in Central America anyway?” I’ll explore this and more in Culture Watch. My Writing & Book Reviews will include several book and movie reviews.  We’ll look to inspiration in Voices of the Day and, as always, What Others Are Saying. My latest article, “Tschiffely’s Epic Ride: Part of the Yin & Yang of Travel Series,” was in […]

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