Monday, April 17, 2006

Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario

A review of Sonia Nazario's Enrique’s Journey by Luis Alberto Urrea author of “The Devil’s Highway” and “The Hummingbird’s Daughter.”

Joseph Campbell would recognize “Enrique’s Journey.” It’s the stuff of myth. A lone child embarks on a terrible journey through a landscape of monsters and villains. His goal is noble, almost chivalric – he travels through hardship and dangers to find his mother, lost in the far mysteries of the north. To add another layer to the story, it contains a vehicle right out of a fairy tale: a Fury-haunted freight train known as El Tren de la Muerte – the Train of Death.

Sonia Nazario, however, is not writing myths: “Enrique’s Journey” is true.

The story begins in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where Enrique’s mother, Lourdes, supported several children by selling tortillas and gum on the street. It was a small step up from begging or picking garbage to live. One day, Lourdes saw visions of Las Vegas on a customer’s TV screen. It was a revelation – she could risk everything and try to earn enough money to save her children from grinding poverty. But to do so, she had to leave them behind, like thousands of mothers before her. And like thousands of those mothers’ children, when Enrique’s sorrow grew too great to bear, he followed her north. When his mother left, Enrique was 5 years old. He made his own journey 11 years later.

You can find the review here

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