Samantha Dunn Recommends

“As far as I’m concerned, everybody in America should read Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border by Luis Alberto Urrea. It strips the ugly political rhetoric around immigration and reveals the very human face of this issue. The book came out in 1993, but I think it’s more relevant today than when it was published. More than sociopolitical analysis, though, Urrea has created a heartbreaking, tough and compelling narrative in this collection of essays. (Try to read the section titled “Father’s Day” without crying. I dare you.) This work is a testament to survival, and to hope, but never becomes sentimental. Urrea is a storyteller to be envied and emulated.”

Samantha Dunn is the author of Failing Paris, a finalist for the PEN West Fiction Award in 2000, and the memoir, Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life, a BookSense 76 pick. Her most recent memoir, Faith in Carlos Gomez: A Memoir of Salsa, Sex and Salvation, is published by Henry Holt & Co.

If you’d like to recommend an underappreciated book for this series, please send mail to llalami at yahoo dot com.