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The Illegal Man

The Illegal Man by Patrick Dearen
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A story that could have come out of today’s headlines, this reissue of Patrick Dearen’s 1981 novel explores an illegal alien’s desperate attempt to provide for his family.

Ricardo has known only poverty in Mexico, but he dreams of a better life in the United States. He enlists a “coyote” to smuggle him across the Rio Grande, a river that separates not only one nation from another, but one world from another.

The Illegal Man is also the story of Ann Rawlings, a recent widow struggling to preserve her West Texas ranch. There is also her bigoted foreman, who considers his Mexican national ranch hands to be little more than animals. For Ricardo, it’s a world in which he will suffer hardship and indignity, but one he will gladly endure to support his family.

The Illegal Man grew out of a newspaper series by Dearen, who interviewed Mexican and American officials and accompanied border patrolmen along the Rio Grande. He based his character, Ricardo, on an actual Mexican national he interviewed in West Texas. Although The Illegal Man is fiction, Dearen’s insight into illegal immigration is sure to spark discussion.
TCU Press; March 2015
363 pages; ISBN 9780875656144
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Title: The Illegal Man
Author: Patrick Dearen

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