Dispatch from Brooklyn & Puebla

There’s No José Here: Following the Hidden Lives of Mexican Immigrants, by Gabriel Thompson (Nation Books, 2007)

I highly recommend this book. Thompson was an organizer at the Pratt Area Community Council in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, when he became friends with Enrique, a smart, savvy, and talkative cab driver from Puebla. This is Enrique’s tale and more.

It’s both a good solid look at the difficulties faced by Mexican immigrants in New York (those who came legally and those who didn’t), and a clear-eyed picture of their families’ lives in rural Mexico. It’s not a tract, just a story about people.

And now, whenever I use Chinantla corn tortillas, I feel a personal connection.

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