Into the Beautiful North : A Novel
by Urrea, Luis Alberto






Working in a Mexican taco shop while dreaming of the father who left their family to work in the United States, nineteen-year-old Nayeli struggles with a realization that most of the men in her village have left to pursue work in the north.





<div>A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his landmark work of nonficiton <i>The Devil's Highway</i>, <b>Luis Alberto Urrea</b> is also the bestselling author of the novels <i>The Hummingbird's Daughter</i>, <i>Into the Beautiful North</i>, and <i>Queen of America</i>, as well as the story collection <i>The Water Museum</i>, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. <br><br> He has won the Lannan Literary Award, an Edgar Award, and a 2017 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among many other honors. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, he lives outside of Chicago and teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago.</div>





"*Starred Review* If you are a judo-practicing, butt-kicking 19-year-old Mexican woman in a town with only one youngish man-and he s gay-you might decide to go to El Norte to recruit illegal immigrant men to revive your village. And Naveli, a twenty-first-century female Don Quixote with a three-person posse that includes her gay boss, does exactly that. This wonderfully funny, occasionally sad novel combines elements of the picaresque with the joie de vivre and startling coincidences of a road-trip movie. Urrea s knowledge of immigrant life, the rigors of poverty, and how being poor affects everyday existence provides the gritty details that make characters and places come alive. Sardonic humor, rugged details of the working-class poor, and the exotic, often bizarre characters all contribute to an outstanding reading treat. Fans of Urrea s nonfiction and his Kiriyama Prize winner, The Hummingbird s Daughter (2005), will probably not expect this lush, rollicking novel of quests, self-discovery, and romance. But-once committed to the trip-readers will have no trouble staying till the bittersweet and triumphant end."





Three Mexican se-oritas cross the border with a gay escort in this good-humored road novel from Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter, 2005, etc.).The coastal town of Tres Camarones has gone from sleepy to desolate since its men went north to "Los Yunaites," looking for work. Luckily there are two strong women in town. Middle-aged Irma, a no-nonsense former bowling champion, is running for mayor. Her niece Nayeli, a dark-skinned beauty one year out of high school, is her campaign manager. Nayeli misses her father, one of the migrants, and treasures his one postcard, from Kankakee, Ill. After Irma is elected, Nayeli turns her attention to the crime wave she sees coming-though all we've been shown are two out-of-luck drug dealers. Inspired by a screening of The Magnificent Seven at the Cine Pedro Infante, she decides to head north and bring back Mexican cops or soldiers to help her deal with the bandidos. Joining Nayeli in her quest are Yolo and Vampi, her "homegirls," and Tacho, gay owner of La Mano Ca'da Taquer'a and Internet café. The premise is weak, and Urrea keeps everything cartoon simple so he can get his show on the road. The town takes up a collection and gives the girls a big send-off. In Tijuana, Nayeli fights off some bad guys before being befriended by At-miko, ersatz warrior and authentic trash-picker, who insists on joining their mission. Using tunnels, they cross the border successfully on their second attempt. (This is well-covered ground for Urrea: See his nonfiction border trilogy, beginning with Across the Wire, 1992.) In a silly bit of farce, Tacho is arrested as a suspected al-Qaeda member. Meanwhile, the ladies spend time in San Diego. Their recruiting goes well. Yolo and Vampi find boyfriends. Nayeli, still single, goes back on the road with the liberated Tacho. They are heading for Illinois, her father's putative home, but the momentum has been lost and the ending is a fizzle.Minor work from a writer who has done much better. Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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