Mayo, C.M. 1961-

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MAYO, C.M. 1961-

(Catherine Mansell Carstens, Catherine Mansell Mayo)

PERSONAL: Born March 22, 1961, in El Paso, TX; daughter of Roger (in business) and Carolyn (Mayo) Mansell; married Agustin Carstens (a banker), July 19, 1986. Education: University of Chicago, B.A., 1982, M.A., 1985. Politics: "Skeptical." Hobbies and other interests: Collecting travel memoirs written by foreigners in Mexico.

ADDRESSES: HomeMexico City, Mexico, and Washington, DC. Office—The Writer's Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda, MD 20815.

CAREER: Writer and economist. Euro American Capital Corp. Ltd., Mexico City, Mexico, economist, 1988–90; Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico, Mexico City, professor of economics, 1990–94; Tameme (bilingual literary magazine), Mexico City, founder, 1998, editor, 1998–. The Writer's Center, Bethesda, MD, faculty member.

MEMBER: Authors Guild, American Literary Translators Association.

AWARDS, HONORS: Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, University of Georgia Press, 1995, for Sky Over El Nido; Bread Loaf fellow, 1996; Walter E. Dakin fellow, Sewanee Writers Conference, 1996; MacDowell and Yaddo fellowships. Also the winner of three Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism awards and two Washington Independent Writers awards.


Sky over El Nido (stories), University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1995.

Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico, University of Utah Press (Salt Lake City, UT), 2002.

Work represented in anthologies, including American Poets Say Goodbye to the Twentieth Century, edited by Andrei Codrescu, Four Walls Eight Windows Press (New York, NY), 1996. Contributor of stories and poems to periodicals, including Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Southwest Review, Quarterly, Northwest Review, and Rio Grande Review.


Las Nuevas Finanzas en Mexico, Editorial Milenio (Mexico City, Mexico), 1992.

Las Finanzas Populares en Mexico, Editorial Milenio (Mexico City, Mexico), 1995.

Liberalizacion e Innovacion Financiera en los Paises Desarrollados y en America Latina, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos (Mexico City, Mexico), 1996.

Contributor to periodicals, including El Trimestre Economico, Informe mensual sobre la economia mexicana, El Inversionista, Business Mexico, Mexico Journal, Hemisfile, and El Economista.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion, an anthology of contemporary Mexican literature in translation, for Whereabouts Press, projected 2006; The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, a novel set in nineteenth-century Mexico.

SIDELIGHTS: Author C.M. Mayo began her career as an economist, working for an investment bank in Mexico City and teaching finance at a private university there. While living in Mexico, Mayo began to write short stories, essays, and poems, many of which have appeared in both U.S. and Mexican literary publications and other periodicals. She has also worked as a translator of contemporary Mexican poetry and fiction. Mayo is the founder and editor of Tameme, a bilingual literary magazine, and is a faculty member at the Writer's Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

In 1995, Mayo published Sky over El Nido, a collection of short stories for which she won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. The stories take place around the world, with settings that include Cairo, New York, Krakow, and Veracruz. In one story, a Mexican art student and his Japanese girlfriend travel through Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. In another story, a burned-out Manhattan businessman tries to help a homeless man with AIDS.

Sky over El Nido was lauded by critics and readers alike. For some, Mayo's ability to capture the feeling and sensations of a particular city or country are what make her stories come alive. "Mayo evokes the smells, tastes, and weather of these settings as palpably as she probes the moods of her characters," wrote David Toolan in a review for Commonweal. For others, the author's talent as a storyteller and writer shines through in each tale. "In this short-story collection, distinguished by intriguingly elliptical story lines and coolly precise prose, Mayo makes a remarkable literary debut," observed a Publishers Weekly contributor.



Mayo, C.M., Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico, University of Utah Press (Salt Lake City, UT), 2002.


Booklist, October 15, 1995, Bonnie Smothers, review of Sky over El Nido, p. 385.

Commonweal, October 11, 1996, David Toolan, review of Sky over El Nido, p. 25.

Library Journal, November 15, 2002, Janet Ross, review of Miraculous Air, p. 92.

Publishers Weekly, October 9, 1995, review of Sky over El Nido, p. 77.


C.M. Mayo Home Page, (September 12, 2005).

University of Utah Press, (April 17, 2003), description of Miraculous Air.