The wonderful writer Luis Alberto Urrea says that a deep truth of our time is that “we miss each other.” He is singularly wise about the deep meaning and the problem of borders. The Mexican-American border, as he likes to say, ran straight through his parents’ Mexican-American marriage and divorce. His works of fiction and non-fiction confuse every dehumanizing caricature of Mexicans — and of U.S. border guards. The possibility of our time, as he lives and witnesses with his writing, is to evolve the old melting pot to the 21st-century richness of “us” — with all the mess and necessary humor required.
Luis Alberto Urrea is an English professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has published in nearly every genre, including nonfiction, memoir, short stories, historical novels, poetry, and even an award-winning mystery story, and has been called a “literary badass.” His many books include Into the Beautiful North, The Devil's Highway, The Hummingbird's Daughter, The Tijuana Book of the Dead and The House of Broken Angels.
This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Luis Alberto Urrea — Borders Are Liminal Spaces." Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.
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