by Pablo Pimentel, Jr.
The U.S.-Mexican border itself is a symbol of division and hope, and the ten stories found in So Close to the Border and So Far Away from Heaven vividly portray the mix of dreams and reality that fill the lives of those residing there.
Set in border towns on either side of the line, each story offers a lesson on cultural identity, misguided intentions, and loss of self in the struggle to find change. In one piece, a young man who disdains his heritage is brought to task by an unlikely visitor and the memories he raises. The lure of drugs and the damage they inflict – both on the user and those around him or her – are dramatized in selections that shed light on both sides of the issue. And in another tale, a cold reporter covering the Mexican Revolution learns a difficult lesson with a high price when he is charged with securing a mysterious, cursed portrait.
Through rich characters, weighty subject matter, lyrical verse, and complex relationships, Pimentel ultimately conveys the need for understanding our destructive tendency – not as a society but as individuals.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pablo Pimentel, Jr., is a product of the Mexico-U.S. border: born a mile away on the Mexican side and raised in the States from his early teens, but has always lived close to that same border. He is a self-employed artist living and working in San Diego with his wife and their four children.
(2006, paperback, 34 pages)