Graphic novelist crafts book on Mexican murders

Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:36pm EDT
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By Martin Roberts

GIJON, Spain (Reuters) - Graphic novelist Phoebe Gloeckner, whose depiction of sex and childhood traumas has courted controversy, is now contributing to a book about the largely unsolved murders and disappearances of hundreds of women near the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez.

Due out later this year, "I Live Here," which is funded by human rights group Amnesty International, also tells the stories of women and child refugees from places such as Chechnya.

Gloeckner worked as a medical illustrator but always drew comic strips and began publishing graphic novels in 1998.

On the sidelines of the recent "Semana Negra" literary festival in Spain, she spoke to Reuters about future plans, censorship and the conflict between genre and mainstream fiction.

Q. Can you tell us about your next book?

A. It's about a girl called Elena Chavez Caldera, who disappeared in 2000, aged 15, on her way home. I wanted to write about her because there's almost nothing left of her.

Her parents had just one photograph, which they gave to the police, so now all they have is a wrinkled photocopy of the "missing" poster.

Q. The case is still unsolved?   Continued...

<p>Crosses are erected in Ciudad Juarez April 10, 2008, in memory of some of the women murdered in the city since 1993. REUTERS/Henry Romero</p>