#OwnVoices Books About Migration Across the Southern U.S. Border
|Border Wall, Rio Grande Valley, Texas, by Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune|
As a result of all the furor surrounding author Jeanine Cummins' American Dirt, I wanted to offer readers a selection of some #ownvoices authors who have written highly regarded books (most are nonfiction) on the subject of migration across the U.S. southern border.
Journalist Sonia Nazario's Pulitzer Prize-winning series for the Los Angeles Times was adapted in 2007 into Enrique's Journey about a boy who makes the perilous journey from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to Mexico, across the border, to search for his mother in North Carolina. Nazario has been hailed as a journalist who puts faces on statistics, telling the very human stories. (Clearly nonfiction.)
“This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book––at its core––is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but in the unsettled, unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like myself find ourselves in. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about constantly hiding from the government and, in the process, hiding from ourselves. This book is about what it means to not have a home.
After 25 years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom.”
I can also recommend readers who are not limiting themselves to #ownvoices writers check out Aaron Bobrow-Strain's The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story. Bobrow-Strain, a professor of politics and public affairs at Whitman College, takes us into the heart of the modern immigration machine in the USA.
You can buy any of these books at your local indie bookstore by looking for them on BookstoreLink.com
If you prefer to buy online, my shelf at Bookshop.com has you covered. Orders are fulfilled by Ingram but profits are shared with independent booksellers partnered with Bookshop.com. (If you order from them, the blog does benefit from your order.)
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