Categories
ALL Book Reviews Essays Migration The Nation

At Macondo Pharmacy

For The Nation, I write about Karla Cornejo Villavicencio’s experiment with magical realism in The Undocumented Americans. She goes beyond conventional reportage to mirror the surreal ways in which the undocumented experience their lives. Her work exposes the unsustainable fiction built into the economic and political systems that invite the labor of the undocumented into the country but fail to protect them once here. The pandemic has only sharpened this structural fabulism.

Categories
Book Reviews Essays The New Republic

The Grammar of Oppression

For the December 2020 issue of The New Republic, I write on caste, race and Isabel Wilkerson’s recent book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. 

By neglecting individualized Dalit experience, by skipping stories about the violence against lower castes in India, Wilkerson misses an opportunity to achieve a more radical goal: to build popular and more reciprocal solidarities on a global level––between the resistance movements against anti-Blackness here and casteism there, for one. Ironically, her approach embodies one aspect of the American exceptionalism she challenges: It centers the United States, using the world outside our borders mostly as reference point, as foil to show Americans that we are not better.”

Categories
ALL Book Reviews The New York Times Book Review

Telling a taboo history of Vietnam

For The New York Times Book Review, I consider poet Quyen Phan Que Mai’s debut in English, the novel “The Mountains Sing.”

Categories
ALL Book Reviews The New Republic

The United States’ Debt to Immigrants

GUILLERMO ARIAS / Getty Images

Racism served imperial capitalism well, and xenophobia serves neoliberalism and global plutocrats just as effectively. This Land Is Our Land is Suketu Mehta’s expression of rage at the cynical exploitation of inequality. In it, he makes debt his canvas, overlaying it with borders and borderlands that suggest what we owe migrants. Read my review of the book, with a nod to British artist Hew Locke’s artwork, at The New Republic.

Categories
ALL Book Reviews Essays Foreign Coverage Politics

Risker, Risk

With support from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, I produced a package of stories on the long-lasting effects of U.S. Cold War intervention on politics in Guyana, a former British colony on the northeastern shoulder of South America.

Risker, Risk
The Caribbean Review of Books, July 2015
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CIA Meddling, Race Riots and a Phantom Death Squad: Why a tiny South American country can’t escape the ugly legacies of its idiosyncratic past.
Foreign Policy, July 31, 2015
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Of Love and Other Demographics
Warscapes, June 11, 2015
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‘Dougla’ Politics
Warscapes, June 15, 2015
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The Terror and the Time
Pulitzer Center Blog, August 4, 2015