“I wanted to keep repeating: there is no line.
I wanted to scream over and over again: THERE IS NO LINE! THERE IS NO LINE! THERE IS NO LINE!”
This memoir from a Pulitzer Prize Winner is a true journalist’s narrative: it reads fast and factual, active verbs punching meticulous beginnings into their vital ends. No words are superfluous, each as open as Vargas is with his story.
From the shock of his family’s lie to his inability to maintain intimate partnerships to a detention center where his laces are taken from him, he withholds nothing. He weaves the personal with both immigration history and law, a sinuous strand of necessary defiance lacing it all together for the reader to hold, to keep.
“This is not a book about the politics of immigration. This book––at its core––is not about immigration at all. This book is about homelessness, not in a traditional sense, but in the unsettled, unmoored psychological state that undocumented immigrants like myself find ourselves in. This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t. This book is about constantly hiding from the government and, in the process, hiding from ourselves. This book is about what it means to not have a home.
“After 25 years of living illegally in a country that does not consider me one of its own, this book is the closest thing I have to freedom.”
—Jose Antonio Vargas, from Dear America