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Our Migrant Souls

9780374609900 fc %281%29
Hardcover, MCD × FSG, 2023
Tobarh opalpn 37937 08

Héctor Tobar

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A new book by the Pulitzer Prizewinning writer about the twenty-first-century Latino experience and identity.

"Latino" is the most open-ended and loosely defined of the major race categories in the United States. Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of "Latino" assembles the Pulitzer Prize winner Héctor Tobar's personal experiences as the son of Guatemalan immigrants and the stories told to him by his Latinx students to offer a spirited rebuke to racist ideas about Latino people. Our Migrant Souls decodes the meaning of "Latino" as a racial and ethnic identity in the modern United States, and seeks to give voice to the angst and anger of young Latino people who have seen latinidad transformed into hateful tropes about "illegals" and have faced insults, harassment, and division based on white insecurities and economic exploitation.

Investigating topics that include the US-Mexico border "wall," Frida Kahlo, urban segregation, gangs, queer Latino utopias, and the emergence of the cartel genre in TV and film, Tobar journeys across the country to expose something truer about the meaning of "Latino" in the twenty-first century.

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  • Our Migrant Souls is an important contribution to the growing body of work offering answers to a seemingly simple question: What is a ‘Latino’? In precise yet lyrical prose, Héctor Tobar leads readers on a tour of the United States of America, where to be Latine often means to go unseen.”

    —Myriam Gurba, author of Mean

  • “The master writer puts on his maestro cap to give us memoir, media criticism, meditation, travelogue, history lesson, and so much more, in a style and pacing with all the brilliant nuances and hues that Latinos exemplify.”

    —Gustavo Arellano, author of Ask a Mexican

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