Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The Parkland Reads' selection for 2012-13 is Into the Beautiful North, by Luis Alberto Urrea.
It’s a quirky book. It is a book about a road trip and U.S. pop culture. It is about poverty and immigration and stereotypes and the love of movies and bowling, and the drug trade and the border between Mexico and the United States.
Nineteen year old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her poor coastal Mexican village. She dreams about her father, who journeyed to the U.S. to find work, ending up in KANKAKEE, ILLINOIS. Recently it has dawned on her that he isn’t the only man to abandon the town. In fact, there are almost no men left in the village—they have all gone north.
After viewing the film, The Magnificent Seven, at the little local theatre, she comes up with a plan. Nayeli and three friends set out on a quest north to find seven Mexican men and smuggle them back into Mexico to protect the town from bandidos in the Mexican drug trade.
Their journey gives us an up close look at Mexican border towns as well as a look at the United States as a foreign country through the eyes of the travelers.
Luis Alberto Urrea is a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. He was born in Tijuana, Mexico, to an American mother and a Mexican father. He has used his experiences from living in dual cultures to explore themes of living in two worlds. His nonfiction work, The Devil’s Highway, became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of another work of fiction, The Hummingbird’s Daughter. He teaches creative writing at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Posted by Parkland College Library at 2:48 PM