Following Mateo

Front Cover
Trafford Publishing, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 217 pages

    "Following Mateo" is a memoir, the true story of Tom Molanphy, a twenty-something American who spends two years living and teaching in Belize. Molanphy finds himself compelled to spend more and more time with Mateo, an older Mayan living in the deep but dwindling rain forest of Belize. Fascinated by Mayan spirituality, Molanphy spends two years trying to convince the evasive and complicated Mateo to lead him deep into the bush, a sacred place where 21st century Mayans still practice ancient rituals.
    Neither an archaeologist nor anthropologist, Molanphy is honest about his own shortcomings and frustrations while dealing with a new culture, creating a wide-eyed narrative rich with detail of the natural wonders of Belize, as well as the inevitable humor that occurs when two cultures meet. In this post 9/11 world of growing xenophobia, "Following Mateo" reminds us that fear only dwells in the unknown, and that travel to another culture remains the best education around.

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About the author (2002)

Tom Molanphy grew up in central Texas and attended Loyola University in New Orleans. He moved to Spokane to work at a homeless shelter and to Belize to learn from Mayans. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana and currently teaches at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He is the author of FOLLOWING MATEO: TWO YEARS SEARCHING IN BELIZE (2006) and LOUD MEMORIES OF A QUIET LIFE (2012). Portions of LOUD MEMORIES OF A QUIET LIFE have appeared in slightly different form in Red Ochre Lit, Prick of the Spindle, Glasschord and FortyOunceBachelors.

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