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My take on this however, is that while bringing to light a new attraction in the border tourist imaginary, Urrea also—perhaps unintentionally—lays a trap for his reader. Sticking purely to the textual and read in sequence, his second book, By the Lake of Sleeping Children, serves to de-emphasize the generalized descriptions of the border as abject by turning this description away from a local regional specificity and applying it to a more far reaching transnational sense of poverty. Notice how the local 44 José Pablo Villalobos sky becomes a shared space among many, both near and distant places: The sky above was yet another perfect southern California blue.
His text, titled “Mi generación no es una X (‘search and destroy’ remix, 1996),” follows suit by doubting yet in some way admitting inclusion in the Generation X category: I am not an expert in grunge, I don’t understand Japanese comics, drugs bore me, I hate Lollapalooza, I have never read any book by Douglas Coupland. I could be anti-stereotype of the X generation ... but at the same time, I belong to part of a generation that was born in the late sixties and that was educated by television: children of modernly disfunctional families with vcrs and computers who see the idea of getting a job with complete disdain while they pig out on pizza.
Descuartizamientos” or “dismemberments” is one of three stories compiled in Tijuana City Blues where private investigator Miguel Angel Morgado is brought in from Mexico City to investigate a crime that local authorities are either reluctant to untangle or incapable of solving for lack of ingenuity. In this case, the city of Mexicali is being terrorized by a brutal serial killer with a particular knack for dismembering his victims—but not before drinking their blood and raping their cadavers. S.