“The Other Side” used to be the name that Mexicans and Central Americans gave to California and points north. As envisioned by Martinez in this work of cultural reportage and personal memoir, “the other side” designates other frontiers as well. Whether he is writing about graffiti writers in L.A. or guerrillas in El Salvador, about the gap between a Mexican mother and her dying gay son, or the fierce young punkeros of Mexico City, Martinez never fails to provoke and affect.
Praise for The Other Side:
“The Other Side is a brilliant and breathtaking account of the new culture created by guerrillas of San Salvador and performance artists of feverish Tijuana, by young painters of graffiti in Los Angeles and rock n’ roll singers of Mexico City. It is a revealing, remarkable, and timely book.”
“Ruben Martinez is a brilliant writer with rare grace and a keen, supple, beautifully directed anger. The Other Side is important, both for the quality of his takes on L.A.’s systematic disarray, and for the sympathy with which he paints those who struggle forward anyway.”
–Dennis Cooper, author of Frisk