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Lucie Dufresne writer, novelist, adventurer

To travel for the love of research


(WATERCOLORS) TURNEFFE, BELIZE


Field studies are essential for geographers.

A good reason to travel. Fascinated first by the Mayas and wanting to continue studying the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, in fact the whole Meso-America, I wrote three historical novels about their civilization, each set in its own century and places. Wich means that I had to visit not only diferent archaeological sites, but also land and water routes that the Mayas used in their daily life. If I could not put both feet in each of the places where the caracters are evolving, I saw most of them.

In order to understand better the maya culture, I am trying to learn maya… since many years. A challenge! From a theoretical point of view, I might be in an intermediate level, but in the streets, I am a beginner. Taan in kaambal maya t’aan, chéen ba’ale’ jujunp’iitile’: I am learning maya but little by little. After those four novels about the history of the Mayas, I would like to show the drastic changes that contemporary Mayas are going through.

Actually, I am writing the life of a friend that I met forty years ago. She lived in a small village, Dzonotchel, located in the southern part of the state of Yucatan. With her husband, she lived thanks to the milpa, the slash and burn culture of maize, beans and squash. After huracan Gilberto destroyed cultures, beehives and the house in 1988, the pair and their children, six at that time, moved to Cancun in order to survive. Working very hard, they were able to settle in the growing city. Within a few years, they evolved from being peasants in the selva, speaking maya, to street vendor in the very hot Cancun. Hot is a metaphor for the agitation in the streets of Cancún, where are intertwined hope and violence, the Virgen de la Guadalupe with prostitution, new schools with fights in between competing cartels.

« When I was young, I did not know any of these things!» noted my friend, round eyes, in 2018.
The task will be to put all of her stories in one book, more or less logical.

Another news : Penguin Random House is currently working on the fourth novel in order to publish it in Spanish. I dared to translate it myself.