Francisco Cantú is a 2017 Whiting Award winner!
We are proud to announce that Francisco Cantú is a 2017 Whiting Award winner!
Cantú's nonfiction chronicling his experience as as an agent for the United States Border Patrol won one of ten $50,000 prizes for the awards. The Whiting Awards recognize "early accomplishment and the promise of great work to come.”
Join Francisco and the other honorees as they share their work at a reading tonight at McNally Jackson Books in SoHo. The reading starts at 7PM and will feature readings in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and drama from the winners.
We found them one by one, huddled in the brush and curled up around the trunks of palo verde trees and cholla cactus. Not one of them ran. We made them take off their shoelaces and empty their backpacks and we walked all 10 of them single-file back to the road. For a while I walked next to an older man who told me they were all from Michoacán. It’s beautiful there, I said. Yes, he replied, but there’s no work. You’ve been to Michoacán? I nodded. Then you must have seen what it is to live in Mexico. And now you see what it is like for us at the border.
At the station I processed the man for deportation and after I had taken his fingerprints he asked me if there was any work at the station for him. You don’t understand, I said, you’ve just got to wait here until the bus comes. I understand, he assured me, I just want to know if there is something I can do while I wait, something to help. I can take out the trash or clean the cells. I want to show you that I’m here to work, that I’m not a bad person. I’m not here to bring in drugs, I’m not here to do anything illegal. I want to work. I looked at him. I know that, I said.
THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER is forthcoming in 2018 from Riverhead in the US and The Bodley Head in the UK.