Saturday, July 10, 2021

Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (audiobook)

 genre: Latinx memoir

Running and waiting. Coming and going. Hiding in plain sight. This is life as an undocumented foreign national in America. His mind split between Mexican and American, the constant struggle for stability, for permanence, this memoir is a record of a life lived, of Marcelo's code switching and the discomfort that is a necessary evil for the children of parents who decide the sacrifices required to live in America are worth the price. It is a story of family, of the dynamics of displacement and the fraught relationships between fathers and sons.

It’s poetic and raw. It is not chronological and makes no apologies for emotional contradictions. It is so important for me to look into these windows into other lives.  It hurts me but it opens my eyes and I SEE. An immigrant, someone undocumented, THEY ARE A PERSON. They love, they feel deep pain. They want to be together with their loved ones as much as any "citizen". We need to be reminded of this again and again as politicians wring their hands and paint them as “other.”  This book pulls at the humanity in me.

Children of the Land is a sad and hard but engaging book.

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