cover image All the Agents and Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands

All the Agents and Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands

Stephanie Elizondo Griest. Univ. of North Carolina, $30 (312p) ISBN 978-1-4696-3159-2

Travel writer Elizondo Griest (Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana) meditates on the existential nature and impact of international borderlines through her encounters with people along the Mexican and Canadian borders in the United States. Originally from South Texas, the author brings her personal experience to bear on her journalistic explorations of activism, spirituality, identity, and the law at America’s borders. Considering the “ancestral, cultural, and physical” wounds that fester at the borders, Elizondo Griest glimpses the modern immigrant experience through the lives of people who live in more than one culture. She ventures to casinos and artists’ studios, local shrines and longhouses, and expounds on both the elegance and the insecurity of the hybrid existences led by the people who live in these in-between spaces. Reminiscent of Gloria Anzaldúa’s seminal Borderlands/La Frontera, Elizondo Griest’s study of borderlands wrestles with profound questions of identity and belonging in a constantly shifting and increasingly unstable world. (July)