Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea

A few reviews of Luis Alberto Urrea's The Devil's Highway

Working with material from numerous interviews with many of the survivors of the ill-fated expedition, their families and the Border Patrol officers, and dramatizing -- which is to say, conjuring and imagining -- the links between the facts he has and the facts he doesn't have, Urrea, a poet, goes further than most previous attempts by journalists of every level of ability who have tackled this subject before. He describes the history of the region, the nature of the Border Patrol's tracking skills, the hopes and aspirations of the illegal immigrants and their desperate last hours in a serious yet eccentric prose that takes us deep into the heart of life -- and death -- along the Arizona border.

You can find the review here

Luis Urrea writes about US-Mexican border culture with a tragic and beautiful intimacy that has no equal. Born in Tijuana, to a Mexican father and an Anglo mother, he embodies the cross-cultural complexity he explores. This lends his work a wrenching, disarming honesty. In "Nobody's Son," the last of his trilogy of memoirs about border life, he describes himself as "a son of the border. I had a barbed-wire fence neatly bisecting my heart. The border, in other words, ran through me."

Urrea's uncanny ability to remain perched on the hyphen between two countries/identities as a careful observer of both worlds -- of how they blur and yet remain separate -- is the unique gift of his new book, "The Devil's Highway." The book tells the story of the 26 men who tried to cross from Mexico into Arizona in May 2001. Waterless, disoriented, and abandoned by their coyotes (guides), the lost band of stragglers were baked alive by a merciless sun as they stumbled and crawled toward nowhere, toward what seemed certain death. The event received enormous media attention because 14 of the walkers died.

You can find the review here

No comments:

Post a Comment