The appearance of Canada, the United States and Mexico as the sources of the characters of this novel follows the same pattern for all my writings. I am a citizen of Canada and the United States, and am a long-time resident on and off of Mexico. I lived in Mexico twice for long periods and speak Spanish fluently.
I love all my countries, though for very different reasons. Canada is rational and lives up to the “myth” of civility and politeness. This does not mean that that Canada is perfect, but it is a country that lives closely and congruently to its ideals.
The United States is powerful and, as a work in progress, is generally true to its ideals. It generally does defend the weak and promotes democracy, but not always in the best way possible for the world at large. But it has also become ugly in many ways, and just how and why Trump followed Obama is truly a mystery. If the Trilogy seems to reflect too much criticism of America, it is only because as an American, I love my country very deeply and care about the direction in which it is moving. I have great faith in the American People, their kindness and generosity toward each other and the world. I cannot say the same about politicians and Demagogues that have risen to prominence. I am saddened by “single issue voters” and “low information” voters, easily swayed by appeals to our basest instincts to blame the “other”.
I can tell you first hand that Mexicans are not a problem for America; they are part of the solution. The far Right on the other hand needs a good whoopin’ in the coat closet for the lies and distortions they spread.
One more irritation. Republicans regularly attack the Canadian “single payer” health care system, always getting some anecdotal Canadian malcontent to be the face of Canadian thinking. This is not only an outrageous lie and falsehood, it borders on libel. Poll after poll conducted by reputable pollsters show that well over 95% of Canadians favor their system. When I lived in Canada, I favored it 100%.
Republicans and Conservatives, stop lying and tell the truth. Stop voting your greed and privilege; start by giving all Americans the same health care cover that you get in Congress; or CEO’s of major corporations. Apparently that’s not too expensive.
The people of Mexico are among the kindest people in the world, at least that I have seen so far. Costa Rica is the most caring country I have ever lived in; I am no expert on who is kindest and who is not. I can only say that the most hospitable people I have ever met are poor and middle-class Mexicans and all Costa Ricans. Canadians and their government are both amazing.
I have spent most of my life in these three countries, though no longer. I have spent recent time in Ecuador and Costa Rica, both countries I find delightful. Costa Rica and Canada have been my countries of choice with my son, but he now resides in the United States, while I remain a gypsy.
Mexico will always remain my greatest influence and contain my happiest recollections.