Desert America: A Journey Through Our Most Divided Landscape by Rubén Martínez

Desert AmericaDesert America: A Journey Through Our Most Divided Landscape
Rubén Martínez
Picador Paperback
On sale: June 25

For a review copy (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Rubén Martínez, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com.

PRAISE FOR DESERT AMERICA
“It’s hard to imagine a more engaging and illuminating chronicle of the contemporary West….A nuanced, conflicted, poetic meditation on an endlessly elusive subject.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Deeply moving and insightful…A memoir that also manages to be an excellent work of reportage… Martínez treats all the people he writes about, and the places where they live, with the kind of profound respect all too rare among the legions of Western writers who have preceded him. The result is an emotional and intellectually astute portrait of communities long neglected and misunderstood by American literature.”Los Angeles Times

“A compelling and daring book, one filled with equal parts confession, history, and politics…Desert America will challenge every idea you may have formed about life and death in our Western deserts.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

ABOUT DESERT AMERICA
The economic boom—and the devastation left in its wake—was writ nowhere as large as on the American West. Over the past decade, the most iconic of American landscapes has undergone a political and demographic upheaval comparable only to the opening of the frontier. In DESERT AMERICA, a work of powerful reportage and memoir, acclaimed author Rubén Martínez explores a world of extremes: drug addiction flourishing in the shadow of some of America’s richest zip codes, an exclusive Texas enclave that coexists with bloodshed on the banks of the Rio Grande, and Native Americans hunting down Mexican migrants crossing the most desolate stretch of the border.

DESERT AMERICA details Martinez’s own love for this most contested region and reveals that the great frontier is now in the forefront of the vast disparities that are redefining the very idea of America.

ABOUT RUBEN MARTINEZ
Rubén Martínez, an Emmy-winning journalist and poet, is the author of Crossing Over and The New Americans. He holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University.

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Visit Rubén Martínez’s website

ALSO AVAILABLE
Crossing OverCrossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail
Now with a new afterword
Picador Paperback
On sale: June 25

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

ABOUT CROSSING OVER
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.

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