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Where We Come From

Best Seller
Where We Come From by Oscar Cásares
May 21, 2019 | 272 Pages
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  • Hardcover $25.95

    May 21, 2019 | 272 Pages

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    May 21, 2019 | 272 Pages

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“[A] deeply human novel. . . . Concerned with what it means to make a life in a place where so many systems and institutions are designed to make you feel precarious and, in some way, permanently unrooted. . . . There are many moments of quiet power. . . . A story about the meaning of family and home.”
—Omar El Akkad, BookPage

“Evenly and quickly paced . . . this novel is suffused with boredom and menace—twins of a fugitive existence, punctuated by moments of pure terror. . . . Cásares’s characters are finely wrought. . . . Cásares doesn’t flinch from the ugliness, neither does he hit you over the head with it. Cásares is making a bid for our humanity, but he isn’t peddling fairy tales. Even so, the end . . . which is pitch-perfect, gave me goosebumps and left me nodding, with a small smile on my face.”
—Michelle Newby Lancaster, Lone Star Literary Life

“Potent. . . . Powerful. . . . A novel that addresses the complexities of immigration, identity, and assimilation while telling close, intimate stories. . . . Each voice in this chorus has something urgent to say. . . . Helping us learn the truth about who we are individually and as a society. . . . Delivers a truly timeless emotional punch.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Thoughtful and quietly suspenseful. . . . While keeping the focus on family dynamics and the characters’ internal struggles, Cásares frequently, and often heartbreakingly, sets this domestic story in a wider context by stepping back to investigate the stories of people with whom the main characters interact only tangentially (a waiter who provides room service for Orly’s father in San Francisco; the gardener who cleans the gutters at Orly’s house in Houston). With understated grace and without sermonizing, Cásares brilliantly depicts the psychological complexity of living halfway in one place and halfway in another.”
Publishers Weekly
“In this gentle novel, Cásares has done a beautiful job. . .creating a vivid portrait of a boy caught between two worlds. The story is a necessary exercise in empathy at a time when there is too little. . . . [A] heartfelt story about an intensely timely subject that demands attention.”

“A fantastic story of familial love that dares us to question the condition of our humanity.”
—Ernesto Quiñonez, author of Bodega Dreams

Where We Come From is more than an enlightening tale about the multilayered emotional intricacies of life along the U.S.-Mexico line. It is a sweeping portrait of two kinless boys seeking for each other and the woman risking her all for them. This novel—it grabbed me and hasn’t let go of me yet.”
—Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, author of Barefoot Dogs

“Where We Come From seethes with the nearly silent desperation of people trying to survive in the shadows. It erupts like a slow-motion detonation, with a force that will ultimately lift you up and lay you flat. As true and timely a novel as I can imagine: a novel very much of our time, and timeless in its telling of human struggle and connection.”
—Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

“Questions of justice and mercy haunt the lives of every character: a fascinating world and, even better, gives a glimpse of what it takes to get along with strangers as we wish those strangers would get along with us.”
—Laura Furman, author of The Mother Who Stayed and series editor of The O. Henry Prize Stories

Where We Come From is a beautiful and powerful novel. Timely, yes, but it transcends our contemporary era through its focus on family, risk, and loyalty. Oscar Cásares writes with uncanny insight and compassion.”
—Chris Offutt, author of Country Dark   

“Wildly beautiful, making you both emotional and amused, wistful and joyous, for the violent yet graceful world it entails, one that feels in turns immense and transient.”
—Pajtim Statovci, author of Crossing

“With his powers as raconteur and cuentista on full display, Cásares brings searing reportage to this deeply moving tale of interwoven lives on the Texas-Mexico border, and the greater human diaspora of which it is a part. In a quietly prophetic way, he stories the border as a place of American becoming, where a new sense of our humanity is taking shape, that no wall or barrier can hold back.”
—John Phillip Santos, author of Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation

“Casares has written the novel of our times.”
—E.C. Osondu, winner of The Caine Prize for African Writing

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