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By the Lake of Sleeping Children: The Secret Life of the Mexican Border
     

By the Lake of Sleeping Children: The Secret Life of the Mexican Border

4.1 8
by Luis Urrea
 

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By the Lake of Sleeping Children explores the post-NAFTA and Proposition 187 border purgatory of garbage pickers and dump dwellers, gawking tourists, and relief workers, fearsome coyotes, and their desperate clientele. In 16 indelible portraits, Urrea illuminates the horrors and the simple joys of people trapped between the two worlds of Mexico and the United

Overview

By the Lake of Sleeping Children explores the post-NAFTA and Proposition 187 border purgatory of garbage pickers and dump dwellers, gawking tourists, and relief workers, fearsome coyotes, and their desperate clientele. In 16 indelible portraits, Urrea illuminates the horrors and the simple joys of people trapped between the two worlds of Mexico and the United States—and ignored by both. The result is a startling and memorable work of first-person reportage.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Urrea has an almost evangelical zeal to communicate the sad lot of Mexico's "untouchable class," a border population abandoned by their country, at times by their own kin. This collection of repportage, like his Across the Wire, originates in Urrea's years helping California missionaries deliver food and medicine to orphanages and inhabitants of a moldering garbage dump near Tijuana. Here, people's lives are wholly delimited by this universe of decomposing waste. They mine their livelihood in hidden treasuresa can of food, cast-off clothing, scrap wood for a house. Passions fester and erupt; nobility and sacrifice coexist with greed, cruelty and rage. A dual government of armed toughs and community respect prevails. In 10 stark, intimate, riveting essays, Urrea passes no judgment, but attempts to show why his subjects risk all for the chance of something better across the border. Their privation provokes incomprehensible acts, incomprehensible unless one has been in their situation. Urrea has shared their lives and he emerges with strong opinions on those responsible for such misery, and fears of what it forebodes for the course of America's future. Well worth reading in our age of escalating xenophobia. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385484190
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/1996
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
317,126
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.56(d)

Meet the Author

Luis Alberto Urrea was born in Tijuana to an American mother and a Mexican father.  He graduated from the University of California, San Diego, in 1977.  After working as a film extra, he joined a crew of relief workers helping the poor on the Mexican side of the border.  In 1982, he went to Massachusetts, where he taught Expository Writing at Harvard.  Currently, he lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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By the Lake of Sleeping Children 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
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WHY DID DOVEWING LEFT????!!!!! I THOUGHT SHE WAS WITH BUMBLESTRIPE!!!!!!!!