The Lives They Lived, Chavela Vargas

New York Times Magazine
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January 2, 2013

Once, when Mexico was the bellybutton of the universe, Isabel Vargas Lizano ran away from home and resolved to make herself into a Mexican singer. This was in the 1930s, when Europe was on fire, the U.S. out of work and Mexico busy giving birth to herself after a revolution.

At 14, Isabel was busy birthing herself, too. Cast off from her Costa Rican kin for being too strange, she would become Mexico’s beloved Chavela Vargas.

A terrific remembrance by Sandra Cisneros of beloved icon and openly lesbian singer Chavela Vargas.