Synopses & Reviews
The magazine Traffic got it wrong! The Border-with its frantic commerce in drugs, human beings, electronic gadgets, money and other economic units-is a lens into the future of the "new world economy." But it’s misunderstood, disparaged, cheated and even sentimentalized by the national media portraying it from its Big Brother perspective. Puro Border is a remedy to that bias, creating a collage rooted in the best writing from both sides of the border, plus photographs and grafitti (corridas, newspaper clips and facts) revealing life en la frontera.
In the 80s and 90s, with the militarization and fencing of the border, the United States became the prototype of the world’s largest gated community. The sibling of the militarization was NAFTA, the child of corporate America and bureaucratic America. The headlines are everywhere-U.S. Marines shoot and kill 17-year-old Ezekial Hernandez in Redford, Texas; Donaldo Luis Colossio is assassinated in a Tijuana barrio; gargantuan drug busts and equally huge deliveries of stuff across the line.
But underneath the ink are millions of people who live and work in this cultural, linguistic and geographic soup. The indigenous peoples of the region, like the Tohono O’ddham, will tell you that the border is a make-believe line. They know because it crosses through the heart of their ancient homeland. And in Juárez the line is real enough. There over 300 young women-mostly workers in the booming maquila industries-have been disappeared. The media on the other side have mostly ignored this tragic fact.
Mexican contributors include Juan Villoro, Eduardo Antonio Parra, Julian Herbert, Julian Cardona and David Ojeda. Writers north of the line include Charles Bowden, Luis Urrea, Robert Draper, Cecilia Balli, Gary Nabhan and Doug Peacock. Introduction by Bobby Byrd, and, as counterpoise, an Epilogue by Luis Humberto Crosthwaite, the Mexican editor.
The U.S./Mexico Border is the human laboratory of the 21st century. Its Rorshach is Puro Border.
About the Author
Luis Humberto Crosthwaite lives and works in the Tijuana/San Diego metroplex. The author of five novels, his fiction has garnered critical attention for his ability to express the complexities of living on the US/Mexico border. He writes a weekly column for the San Diego Union Tribune. John works at Cinco Puntos Press. In 2002, John, his father Bobby Byrd and Luis Humberto Crosthwaite co-edited Puro Border, a collection of nonfiction essays about the US/Mexico border. Poet, essayist and publisher, Bobby Byrd, with his wife Lee, recently received the Lannan Fellowship for Cultural Freedom.