The Lives They Lived, Chavela Vargas

New York Times Magazine
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.