"NOW FUCK OFF. GO away and let me sleep." That's the way Jesusa Palancares cuts off her story and shuts out the persistent interrogator who has been asking for it. This dismissal is her final word, after more than 300 very full pages of the most detailed and boldly narrated life, a picaresque life of careers ranging from combat soldier in the Mexican Revolution to factory worker, cabaret dancer, hairdresser, and laundress. And just to make sure we're impressed, the story is embellished by real or imaginary brushes with historical characters like Emiliano Zapata and old "Goat-Beard" Carranza.1