Author Víctor Montejo Speaks on Migration at the Guatemala Book Fair

Date:  Monday, July 8, 2024

Time: 4:00 – 5:20 pm, CST

Where: Forum Majadas, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Víctor Montejo, author of Kidnapped to the Underworld: Memories of Xibalba, will present at the Feria Internacional del Libro en Guatemala / Guatemala International Book Fair. He will be part of the Indigenous/Afroamerican Communities panel and speak on “El conejo y la cabra: Un cuento de timador sobre la migración transnacional a los Estados Unidos” (The rabbit and the goat: a con man’s tale of transnational migration to the United States). Other panelists are Carlos Gerardo González Orellana and Tiffany D. Creegan Miller; the moderator is Dante Barrientos Tecún.

Víctor Montejo (Jakaltek Maya) is professor emeritus of Native American studies at the University of California, Davis. An internationally recognized author, his major publications include Maya Intellectual Renaissance: Critical Essays on Identity, Representation, and Leadership (2003), Entre dos Mundos (Memoria) (2021), and Mayalogue: An Interactionist Theory of Indigenous Cultures (2021).

About Kidnapped to the Underworld:

Víctor Montejo’s story recounts the near-death experience of his grandfather, Antonyo Mekel Lawuxh (Antonio Esteban), who fell gravely ill in Guatemala in the late 1920s but survived to tell his family and community what he had witnessed of the afterlife. Narrated from Antonio’s perspective, the reader follows along on a journey to the Maya underworld of Xibalba, accompanied by two spirit guides. Antonio traverses Xibalba’s levels of heaven and hell, encountering instructive scenes of punishment and reward. Infused with memory, the author illustrates Guatemala’s unique religious syncretism, exploring conceptions of heaven and hell shared between Catholicism and Indigenous Maya spirituality.

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