In his impressive debut, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border, Francisco Cantú tells two stories—the first about the author’s life as a U.S. border patrol agent in the Southwest, and the second about his return to civilian life and the unexpected friendship he forges with an undocumented immigrant whose family is shattered by deportation. The highly charged politics around immigration are a quiet backdrop to the more profound human questions Cantú explores: how, as the grandson of a Mexican immigrant, he manages to remain dispassionate while he rounds up men, women, and children attempting to cross the border, along with drug runners and smugglers, and then how he can’t escape his own anguish when he begins to reckon with his complicity in a system he realizes is brutal and unjust. Woven throughout are recurring dreams and nightmares, replete with animal metaphors, which add even more edge to his powerful tale. An important book for these times.
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border - Francisco Cantú