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The Undocumented Americans

Best Seller
The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Hardcover $26.00
Mar 24, 2020 | ISBN 9780399592683

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  • Mar 24, 2020 | ISBN 9780399592683

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  • Mar 24, 2020 | ISBN 9780399592690

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Praise

“For all the political debate that surrounds them, it remains rare for undocumented Americans to share their own stories in full. In this nearly decade-long feat of reporting, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s book, now a National Book Award finalist, shows the complex nature of undocumented immigrants’ lives.”Time
 
“There’s nothing to do but sit down and read this book. Inside it, I feel deep in being, immersed in a frankness and a swerving bright and revelatory funkiness I’ve not encountered ever before concerning the collective daily life of an undocumented family in America. It’s a radical human story and Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is a great writer.”—Eileen Myles 
 
“This is the book we’ve been waiting for. Karla Cornejo Villavicencio offers an unflinching indictment of our current immigration system, one that separates families, inflicts trauma, and every day eats away at people’s dignity. At the same time, she writes about migrants in a way they’ve never been written about before—in all their complexity, messiness, humanity, and beauty. Cornejo Villavicencio understands in her bones that writers cannot give people voices or faces. The Undocumented Americans succeeds precisely because she sees their faces and hears their voices. Deeply personal and so superbly told, this is a work we will be talking about for a long time to come.”—Roberto G. Gonzales, author of Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America 
 
“This valuable and authentic inquiry is powerfully embellished with magical imaginings, as when she envisions a man drowning during Hurricane Sandy’s last moments. [Karla] Cornejo Villavicencio’s unfiltered and vulnerable voice incorporates both explosive profanity and elegiac incantations of despair, as, for example, when she internalizes the hatred toward brown people manifest in the poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water supply. She gives of herself unstintingly as she speaks with undocumented day laborers, older people working long past retirement age, and a housekeeper who relies on the botanica and voodoo for health care. Cornejo Villavicencio’s challenging and moving testimonio belongs in all collections.”Booklist (starred review)

“Profoundly intimate . . . highly personal and deeply empathetic . . . Readers will be deeply moved by this incandescent account.”Publishers Weekly
 
“Memorable . . . compelling . . . heartwrenching . . . a welcome addition to the literature on immigration told by an author who understands the issue like few others.”Kirkus Reviews

Awards

National Book Awards FINALIST

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