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The "Bumpy Road Phenomenon"

Imagine you are driving along the road in Central Mexico, south of Mexico City in the formerly volcanic region known as Tepoztlan, "the Magic City". Relaxing and enjoying the scenery, you see the mountains sculpted as mushrooms and temples. Suddenly you hit a bumpy section. You jam on the brakes to avoid destroying the car. Now you need to focus on the next pothole. Everything is up close. A Mexican tells you that the bumps are "dead policemen". Speedbumps and potholes are very common.

Jamming on the brakes is one way to survive life's jagged areas of culture clash.  Unlike the bumps in the road, the bumps of life offer opportunities for reflection and growth.


A compelling and bravely honest memoir of Don Karp's unusual life, beginning with his life in Syracuse and following his path to present day Mexico, where his life has bloomed, despite the hardships and financial challenges.  I was so absorbed in the story I forgot to go to my yoga class!

Maria Espinosa
Recipient of the 1996 American Book Award for "Longing"
Recipient of the 2009 PEN Oakland Award for Literary Excellence for "Dying Unfinished"