There's No Jose Here: Following the Lives of Mexican Immigrants

Gabriel Thompson, Author . Nation $14.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-56025-990-9

The pro-immigration rallies throughout the United States in March 2006 brought attention to a rarely heard voice in the debate: the immigrant. Journalist and former community organizer Thompson puts several of these unheard voices on record, writing an intimate and emotional portrait of a Mexican family he befriended in Brooklyn. The book follows the lives of Enrique, a 34-year-old livery cab driver, and his family, whom Thompson meets while working as a housing rights organizer. Thompson's authentic friendship with Enrique is evident, giving the book a more personal tone than most immigration writing by outsiders. In fact, the book is as much about Thompson's desire for understanding as it is about Enrique's struggles with his daughter's lead poisoning, his best friend's deployment to Iraq, his cousin's murder in Brooklyn and family drama in Mexico. Their engaging and affectionate story begins in the housing courts of New York City and ends in Mexico, where Enrique, now a legal U.S. citizen, confronts his conflicted feelings about his native land. While Thompson successfully engages the reader in a single immigrant's experience and psychology, he doesn't draw any larger societal conclusions. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/13/2006
Release date: 12/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-1-56025-978-7
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