Tuesday, May 21 at 7pm
speaking & signing
Where We Come From
ABOUT WHERE WE COME FROM
From a distance, the towns along the U.S.-Mexican border have dangerous reputations: on one side, drug cartels; on the other, zealous border patrol agents—and Brownsville is no different. But to twelve-year-old Orly, it’s simply where his godmother, Nina, lives—and where he is being forced to stay the summer after his mother’s sudden death.
For Nina, Brownsville is where she grew up, where she lost her first and only love, and where she stayed as her relatives moved away and her neighborhood deteriorated. It’s the place where she’s buried all her secrets—and now she has another: she’s providing refuge for a young immigrant boy named Daniel, for whom traveling to America has meant trading one set of dangers for another.
Separated from the violent human traffickers who brought him across the border, pursued by the authorities, Daniel must stay completely hidden under Nina’s roof. But when Orly discovers Daniel’s presence, the two boys’ immediate kinship—and shared desire for independence—puts them all at risk of exposure.
Tackling the crisis of U.S. immigration policy from a deeply human angle, Where We Come From explores through an intimate lens the ways that family history shapes us, how secrets can burden us, and how finding compassion and understanding for others can ultimately set us free.
ABOUT OSCAR CÁSARES
OSCAR CÁSARES is the author of Brownsville, a collection of stories that was an American Library Association Notable Book of 2004, and is now included in the curriculum at several American universities, and the novel Amigoland. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Copernicus Society of America, and the Texas Institute of Letters. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he teaches creative writing at the University of Texas in Austin, where he lives.
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