This study examines the representation of the city of Tijuana in the novel Al otro lado by Mexican writer Heriberto Yépez. My discussion centers on how this literary work confronts and interrogates the two most popular myths about this city’s sociocultural make-up: Tijuana as violent and perverted, a capital of sin; and Tijuana as the height of globalized cultural hybridity. The second of these myths, which stems from the city’s location and rapid changing demographics, has led critics to ascribe to Tijuana the dissolution of long-standing notions of class, nation, and identity. Yépez’s novel allows us to understand that such ideas do and do not define Tijuana. The image of this city portrayed in Al otro lado is that of a complex place that both establishes ties with and departs from hegemonic descriptive modalities therein recovering and exposing a diverse, unstable, and conflictive reality.


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pp. 439-461
Launched on MUSE
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