Border Odyssey: Travels along the U.S./Mexico Divide by Charles D., Jr. Thompson

By Charles D., Jr. Thompson

"We have been attempting to swap the imaginative and prescient and the dialog approximately border fears."

Border Odyssey takes us on a force towards knowing the U.S./Mexico divide: all 1,969 miles—from Boca Chica to Tijuana—pressing on with the helpful fiction of a map.

"We had to visit where the place numerous blameless humans have been kicked, stubborn, spit on, arrested, detained, trafficked, and killed. it's going to develop into transparent that the border, la frontera, used to be extra multifaceted and profound than whatever lets have invented approximately it from afar."

Along the adventure, 5 centuries of cultural heritage (indigenous, French, Spanish, Mexican, African American, colonist, and U.S.), wars, and laws spread. and during commentary, dialog, and meditation, Border Odyssey scopes the tales of the folks and cities on either sides.

"Stories are the other of partitions: they call for unlock, retelling, displaying, connecting, each one snapshot chipping away at barriers. partitions are complete stops. yet tales are like commas, consistently making attainable the subsequent clause."

Among the terrain traversed: partitions and extra partitions, unforeseen roadblocks and patrol officials; a golfing path (you might force a ball around the border); a Civil battle battlefield (you might camp there); the southernmost plantation within the usa; a hand-drawn ferry, a road-runner tracked wilderness, and a wide ranging nationwide park; barbed twine, bridges, and a trucking-trade thoroughfare; ghosts with weapons; obscured, unmarked, and unpaved roads; a Catholic priest and his canines, art, icons, and political cartoons; a sheriff and a chain-smoking mayor; a Tex-Mex eatery empty of shoppers and a B&B shuttering its doorways; murder-laden newspaper headlines at breakfast; the kindness of the border-crossing underground; and too many old, impoverished, ex-U.S. farmworkers, braceros, covered as much as have Thompson take their photograph.

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Sample text

I wanted to ask him how often that happened, but just then a bolt of lightning flashed as rain began to fall in huge sporadic drops and a gust of wind hit the side of our car. ” he said, running toward the building. Less than a minute later, rain fell so hard we could barely see the road. Creeping along westward with the windshield wipers not keeping up, I bumped the dashboard with the heel of my hand. ” I had realized then that I couldn’t talk about our trip along the border without including the Border Patrol front and center.

The sky was graying. “Slow down,” Hope shouted as we bottomed out a few times on rough spots. I was still a little crazed from navigating all the traffic and the impossible challenge of beating the setting sun. “I’ve been planning this trip for months and I’ve got to get some pictures while we still have light,” I answered. My old digital Olympus camera wasn’t great at nighttime shooting. ” She held on. I gripped the steering wheel and gave the shocks a workout. At the most intense moment of driving, when the wheels seemed to leave the sand at one point, I got a cellphone call, and seeing the number I felt I had to answer.

Maybe they had been kidnapped, trafficked, and made to work for the drug lords. But that was only speculation, as the newspaper could only report that the victims had met their demise at the point of unknown guns, their faces mutilated, unidentifiable. All that the reporter could say was that it was likely drug-related. There was no digging deeper into the deaths—too many journalists had already died for their work. The victims had no identification on them, the paper said. Thus the victims’ families might never learn what had happened.

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