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The Undocumented Americans

Best Seller
The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Paperback $17.00
Apr 06, 2021 | ISBN 9780399592706

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  • Apr 06, 2021 | ISBN 9780399592706

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  • Mar 24, 2020 | ISBN 9780399592683

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  • Mar 24, 2020 | ISBN 9780399592690

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Praise

“Punk and dazzling and remarkably human . . . like watching firecrackers go off.”—Jia Tolentino

“Brilliant, vivid, tender, furious.”—Louise Erdrich

“A scream and a song . . . a complex, human look at the fabric of this nation.”—Quiara Alegría Hudes

“In her captivating and evocative first book, The Undocumented Americans, [Karla] Cornejo Villavicencio aims to tell ‘the full story’ of what it means to be undocumented in America, in all of its fraughtness and complexity, challenging the usual good and evil categories through a series of memoir-infused reported essays. In doing so, she reveals how her subjects, including her own family members, struggle with vices like adultery and self-harm, even while doing backbreaking, demeaning work to support their families. . . . Cornejo Villavicencio reveals a fullness of character that feels subversive, simply because of how rare it is.”The New York Times Book Review

“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 have not encountered ever before concerning the collective daily life of an undocumented family in America. It is a radical human story and Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is a great writer.”—Eileen Myles

“Karla Cornejo Villavicencio offers an un inching indictment of
our current immigration system. This is the book we’ve been waiting for.”—Roberto G. Gonzales, author of Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America

“Profoundly intimate . . . Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s highly personal and deeply empathetic perspective serves as a powerful rebuttal
to characterizations of undocumented immigrants as criminals and welfare cheats.”Publishers Weekly

“This valuable and authentic inquiry is powerfully embellished with magical imaginings, as when she envisions a man drowning during Hurricane Sandy’s last moments. 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)
 
“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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