OVERRIDE

Crossing Over

A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail

Rubén Martínez

Metropolitan Books

A moving account of a family's odyssey by "one of the brightest voices of a new generation of Hispanic writers" (Washington Post)

The U.S.-Mexican border is one of the most permeable boundaries in the world, breached daily by Mexicans in search of work. Yet the migrant gambit is perilous. Thousands die crossing the line and those who reach "the other side" are branded illegals, undocumented and unprotected.

In Crossing Over, Ruben Martinez puts a human face on the phenomenon, following the exodus of the Chávez clan, an extended Mexican family with the grim distinction of having lost three sons in a tragic border incident. He charts the migrants' progress from their small south-Mexican town of Cherán through the harrowing underground railroad to the tomato farms of Missouri, the strawberry fields of California, and the slaughterhouses of Wisconsin. He reveals the effects of immigration on the family left behind and offers a powerful portrait of migrant culture, an exchange that deposits hip hop in Indian villages while bringing Mexican pop to the northern plains. Far from joining the melting pot, Martinez argues, the migrants--as many as seven million in the U.S.--are spawning a new culture that will alter both countries as Latin America and the U.S. come increasingly to resemble each other.

Intimate, compelling, written with passion and engagement, Crossing Over tells the epic story of a family, a town, a world in motion.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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I am close to the line.

The mostly invisible line that stretches two thousand miles along sand, yellow dirt dotted with scrub brush, and the muddy waters of the Rio Grande. Invisible, save for certain stretches near San Diego, Nogales, and El Paso, where the idea of the U.S.-Mexico border takes physical form through steel, chain links, barbed wire, concrete, and arc lamps that light the barren terrain at night. At these three crossing points -- San Diego being the busiest port of entry in the world -- the Border Patrol has cleared the land for miles around, so that the human figures who
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REVIEWS

Praise for Crossing Over

"Beautifully written and important...Martínez shows us how 'America' is being reimagined by its uninvited, its disrespected, its invisible, and he shows us that they will change us, whether we like it or not."—Los Angeles Times

"To read Crossing Over is to read the story of America, to understand the dynamic that renews the strength of the American Dream....Martínez has depicted a deep, enduring commonality that may change the way we understand immigration"—Chicago Tribune

"Martínez's portrait is a rich counterpoint to the simple patterns a demographer might draw."—The New York Times Book Review

"This Los Angeles-born-and-bred grandson of Mexican immigrants brings to his subject personal passion and a knowing eye for the nuances of style and feeling, which make this a very valuable book."—Newsday
"Beautifully written and important...Martínez shows us how 'America' is being reimagined by its uninvited, its disrespected, its invisible, and he shows us that they will change us, whether we like it or not."—Los Angeles Times

"To read Crossing Over is to read the story of America, to understand the dynamic that renews the strength of the American Dream....Martínez has depicted a deep, enduring commonality that may change the way we understand immigration"—Chicago Tribune

"Martínez's portrait is a rich counterpoint to the simple patterns a demographer might draw."—The New York Times Book Review

"This Los Angeles-born-and-bred grandson of Mexican immigrants brings to his subject personal passion and a knowing eye for the nuances of style and feeling, which make this a very valuable book."—Newsday

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Rubén Martínez

  • Ruben Martinez, an Emmy Award-winning journalist and poet, is associate editor at Pacific News Service and a correspondent for PBS's religion and ethics news weekly. Author of The Other Side, he has appeared as a commentator on Nightline, Frontline, and CNN. He lives in Los Angeles.
  • Rubén Martínez
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Available Formats and Book Details

Crossing Over

A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail

Rubén Martínez

ALA Notable Books - Winner
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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Metropolitan Books

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