In this Book

summary
Philip Garrison keeps his eyes and ears open. And he also keeps an open mind. It helps that he’s bilingual, because a lot of his neighbors these days speak Spanish and he likes to know what’s on their minds. Like his epileptic friend Pera, who asks him to write a note in English to explain to her supervisor that she probably shouldn’t be cooking on a grill in case she has a seizure and falls into the flames. When Garrison asks her if she has a work permit, she replies,“Bueno. El que nunca vence.” The kind that never expires. That’s the sort of response he doesn’t forget.

There is a river, Garrison writes, that runs from Oaxaca to British Columbia. El flujo migratorio, he calls it. The migratory flow. But it isn’t a conventional sort of river. “It is made of neither rock nor water nor wind but only of motion, of momentum. And yet . . . it is the most compelling feature in the entire U.S. West,” he claims. Garrison has his feet planted firmly in the middle of this river of humanity, wondering why America is trying to build a wall along an actual river, the Rio Grande, to keep us separated from the mxicanos. All borders, he writes, exist mostly in the imagination—a point he proves decisively in this delightful book.

Garrison is an award-winning writer and this book shows why. Warm, witty, self-deprecating, and charming (the list could go on), this collection illuminates the lives of these migrants, whether at the local food bank in Ellensburg, Washington, in the streets of Michoacán, or everywhere in between.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. El Dolorgullo
  2. pp. 1-9
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  1. Three Notes on Usage
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. Do
  2. pp. 12-13
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  1. Eloquent Gesture
  2. pp. 15-19
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  1. The Expatriation of Esperanza L
  2. pp. 20-24
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  1. On the Topic of Immigration
  2. pp. 25-29
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  1. The Life and Times of Ike Garrison
  2. pp. 30-42
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  1. Adventures in the Old Country
  2. pp. 43-50
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  1. A True Account
  2. pp. 51-56
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  1. Afterlife
  2. pp. 57-74
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  1. Carlos and Pera Were Lovers
  2. pp. 75-80
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  1. The Expatriation of Miguel Sevilla O
  2. pp. 81-93
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  1. Neighbor
  2. pp. 94-106
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  1. As Told To
  2. pp. 107-113
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816502226
Related ISBN
9780816528318
MARC Record
OCLC
754718556
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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