The Permit that Never Expires
Migrant Tales from the Ozark Hills and the Mexican Highlands
There is a river, Garrison writes, that runs from Oaxaca to British Columbia. El flujo migratorio, he calls it. The migratory flow. But it isn’t a conventional sort of river. “It is made of neither rock nor water nor wind but only of motion, of momentum. And yet . . . it is the most compelling feature in the entire U.S. West,” he claims. Garrison has his feet planted firmly in the middle of this river of humanity, wondering why America is trying to build a wall along an actual river, the Rio Grande, to keep us separated from the mexicanos. All borders, he writes, exist mostly in the imagination—a point he proves decisively in this delightful book.
Garrison is an award-winning writer and this book shows why. Warm, witty, self-deprecating, and charming (the list could go on), this collection illuminates the lives of these migrants, whether at the local food bank in Ellensburg, Washington, in the streets of Michoacán, or everywhere in between.
“Philip Garrison once again emerges as the ultimate coyote. No other author has proven as tenacious or as fearless or as open to startling invention in leading us across the desert of our nation’s failure to imagine the migrant/immigrant flux from Mexico as anything but an unsolvable problem.”—Ann Neelon, editor of New Madrid: Journal of Contemporary Literature