If I Die in Juárezby Stella Pope Duarte
From the red-light districts in Ciudad Juárez to remote villages hidden away in the mountains of Chihuahua comes a tale of one of the darkest crimes to be recorded in the history of humankind. If I Die in Juárez traces the lives of three young women—Evita, a street child; Petra, a maquiladora worker; and Mayela, a Tarahumara Indian girl—who… See more details below
From the red-light districts in Ciudad Juárez to remote villages hidden away in the mountains of Chihuahua comes a tale of one of the darkest crimes to be recorded in the history of humankind. If I Die in Juárez traces the lives of three young women—Evita, a street child; Petra, a maquiladora worker; and Mayela, a Tarahumara Indian girl—who together uncover Juárez’s forbidden secret: the abduction and murder of young women. Bound together by blood, honor, an ancient chant, and a mysterious photo, the girls bring the murderous streets of Juárez to life.
Based on the author’s interviews with relatives of murdered women, If I Die in Juárez is brilliantly crafted to give readers the experience of walking in the shoes of women who daily risk being abducted and murdered in the “capital city of murdered women,” joining thousands of others who for more than a decade have disappeared from Juárez, las desaparecidas, brutally murdered by assassins who have gone unpunished. The agony of one of the darkest tales in human history brings to light a strange hope, illusive yet constant, resisting lies, betrayal, and the desert’s silent sentence of death.
Read an in-depth review of If I Die in Juárez here or click here for a study guide. If I Die in Juárez was also reviewed on KNAU's Southwest Book Review program. Listen here!
Human rights activist Duarte's latest novel is based on a string of real-life murders in Ciudad Juárez in the 1990s. Forced out of the house by her alcoholic mother, 13-year-old Evita takes to the streets, glimpsing newspaper columns about the murders, while struggling to survive. Petra, Evita's comely 19-year-old cousin, exchanges the country life for gritty Juárez to raise money for her ailing father. An acquaintance of Petra, Mayela, a 12-year-old Tarahumara Indian, lives in an orphanage where her artistic talent is discovered. Over the course of the novel, the girls are stripped of their childhoods and face grotesque realities that stalk the streets, even under the guise of protection. After a chance encounter reunites the girls, they must work together before one of their own becomes a victim. Duarte's writing is laced with anguish and desperation and brings to life the grime and sleaze of Juárez. (Mar.)Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
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