IT SEEMED LOGICAL to suppose that the death of Rebecca West in 1983 at the age of ninety-one would prevent the appearance of any further work. Not so, as it turned out. So prolific had she been in life that her heirs and literary successors were not short of material - letters, diaries, half-chewed manuscripts, exasperated notes to herself and others - from which to continue to produce if not a stream, then at least a respectable trickle of posthumous writings.
Had things turned out differently, Survivors in Mexico might have been an end-of-career companion piece to Black Lamb and Grey Fakon, West's travel-inspired medtation on the Balkans and, for many, her most important work. When the New Yorker asked her, in 1969, to write a piece on Leon Trotsky's grandson