Saturday, February 17th
Author José Ángel N. will read from his memoir, the valiant story of a man living the American dream — illegally.
“”A devastating narrative of the very real human effects of depersonalized policy.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)
Pushcart Prize-winning writer Francisco Cantú served as an agent for the United States Border Patrol from 2008 to 2012, working in the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Parts of Francisco’s story were included in Best American Essays and were the focus of an episode of This American Life.
In bestowing a 2017 Whiting Award upon him, the judges called his writing “an urgent moral report [that] shows us just how much there is to learn about this contested land…seldom does a writer of such depth and passion come along to explore the place he calls home.”
Francisco’s new memoir The Line Becomes a River interlaces his haunting personal experiences with ruminations on the nature of borderlines, grappling at once with some of the largest political and social questions facing America today and the intimate stories of the hopeful and desperate who set out on a perilous crossing that many will not survive.
Francisco challenges us to hear, absorb, and question the politics, policies, and ingrained ideas of borders that not only derail countless migrants’ lives and tear apart their families but do violence to the humanity of us all.
At this moment of rhetoric and fury around the border, a voice like Francisco’s feels essential and urgent.
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