Casualties of War

Norteamericanos can’t go home again in acclaimed new book

For some, la frontera is a fence and a fixed concept. For others, it’s a porous membrane and a zone of dreams. American Book Award winner Benjamin Alire Sáenz drops readers just north of the physical border and into a chaotic edge in time (the year 1967) in his acclaimed new novel, Names on a Map. As the U.S. heads deeper into the muck of Vietnam and the myth of peace and love, the comfortably assimilated Espejo family feels far removed in sleepy El Paso -- until their eldest son, Gustavo, is drafted. Instead of splitting for the far north, Gustavo bails in the direction of Mexico, a move that proves to be logical, yet catastrophic. Sáenz discusses and signs his book.
Thu., Feb. 21, 7 p.m., 2008

 
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