The Hole by José Revueltas (New Directions, 2018)
Reviewed by Andres Vaamonde
In 1969, writer and leftist revolutionary José Revueltas was in prison. It wasn’t his first time. More than thirty years earlier, when Revueltas was a teenager, he served multiple bids for his participation in the then-outlawed Communist Party of Mexico. He never attended university. Still, he became an important (if controversial) intellectual figure in Mexico, eventually finding himself in a cell in the infamous Lecumberri Prison in 1969 with nothing but time, fury, and, somehow, a typewriter.
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The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea (Little Brown 2004)
Reviewed by Chidinma Onuoha
As long as there have been people walking the Devil’s Highway, there have been deaths. It is Desolation. It is a wasteland where any green vegetation is grey and were temperatures rise up to the triple digits. Here, bones pepper the region and Levi jeans last longer than flesh. In this book, Luis Alberto Urrea paints a harrowing true story of twenty-six men who took the forty mile death march across the Arizona desert in hopes of prosperity in the United States. Only twelve made it out.
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Rain of the Future by Valerie Mejer (Action Books, 2013) Trans. by Forrest Gander, C.D. Wright, and A.S. Zelman-Doring
Reviewed by Rebecca Valley
In her book Rain of the Future, Valerie Mejer begins underwater. She writes:
“In the green water I saw your eye and in it I saw that Arabian palace
filled with birds and broken glass.
My sun-baked body at the edge,
wind in my lungs, its whistle,
my torn world, my grief,
my soggy passport, my shell with no pearl,
you lift them, delicate cloud, into a liquid world.” (15)
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