Arts & Leisure

Book review: Infinite Country — by Patricia Engel

(Avid Reader Press)
The story of Elena and Mauro, Colombians by birth and allegiance, and their family, children born in both Bogotá and the United States, is the story of emigration and immigration, of belonging and not belonging, of longing and loss. As a young couple, after their first daughter is born, they flee the relentless devastation wrought by a decades-long civil conflict and the insecurity of their existence in their home country, a majestic country, rich with myths and impossible tall mountains. When they arrive in the United States, they are on visas, when they stay, they become undocumented. While they are able to eke out an existence, it is marginal, and the sacrifices and loss they endure while far away from their real home, inflicts great harm on all of them. Engel, with her delicate prose and attention to the quality of love that expands and redefines itself as the story progresses, explores themes of home, dreams, time, diaspora, and country. “Emigration was a peeling away of the skin. An undoing.” Ultimately, there is hope to be found here, and the lyrical intoxication of Engel’s writing nearly belies the underlying truths; there is a real price to be paid in hiding.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
 

Nine Works Of Latinx Fiction You’ll Love
Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Of Women and Salt, by Gabriela Garcia
Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer, by Jamie Figueroa
The Five Wounds, by Kirstin Valdez Quade
Cowboy Graves, by Roberto Bolaño
How to Order the Universe, by María José Ferrada
Hades, Argentina, by Daniel Loedel
The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, by Mariana Enriquez
Hurricane Season, by Fernanda Melchor

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