Odyssey to the North by Mario Bencastro

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

The hired help, the landscape crews, the busboys, the illegal nannies of the rich and powerful ... Mario Bencastro’s compelling new novel, Odyssey to the North, spins just one tale of the humble many who, behind the scenes, sustain Washington, D.C.’s privileged few.
Decades of civil wars in Central America, coupled with the need for manpower in the United States, have made the Hispanic immigrant a fixture in modern American life. This is one such story: that of Calixto, who comes to the United States “with his stomach empty but his soul full of hope.” Showing the heartbreak as well as the humor of missteps and misunderstandings in a strange culture, award-winning author Bencastro creates a sensitive and caring portrait of Calixto as he seeks not only work, but safety from unjust persecution in his homeland.
Through conversations, court transcripts, newspaper articles, and letters, Bencastro’s novel deftly allows Calixto and his fellow Guatemalan, Salvadoran, and South American migrants to tell their own stories as they struggle to survive in the restaurant kitchens, bars, crowded tenements, and detention centers that become Calixto’s proving grounds.
MARIO BENCASTRO, a native of El Salvador, is the author of The Tree of Life: Stories of Civil War, the novel A Shot in the Cathedral, and other works. A Shot in the Cathedral was a finalist in the international “Novedades y Diana” literary competition.
Translator SUSAN GIERSBACH RASCÓN, an attorney, has since 1990 taught Spanish at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.
 

About Mario Bencastro

See more books from this Author
Mario Bencastro is the author of numerous award-winning and critically-acclaimed works that explore the impact of civil war and the lives of Central American immigrants in the United States. His first novel, A Shot in the Cathedral (Arte Publico Press, 1996), a finalist in the International Diana y Novedades Literary Prize (Mexico), and his short story collection, The Tree of Life: Stories of the Civil War (Arte Publico Press, 1997) focus on civil war in El Salvador. In Odyssey to the North (Arte Publico Press, 1998) he turns his attention north of the border as his characters seek a better life in the United States. Bencastro's work has been published in El Salvador, Mexico, Haiti, India, Canada and the U.S. He lives and works in the Washington D.C. area.
 
Published September 8, 2011 by Arte Público Press. 199 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Odyssey to the North

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A heartfelt story of political oppression and exile from the Salvadoran author of A Shot in the Dark: Stories of the Civil War and The Tree of Life.

| Read Full Review of Odyssey to the North

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A heartfelt story of political oppression and exile from the Salvadoran author of A Shot in the Dark: Stories of the Civil War and The Tree of Life.

| Read Full Review of Odyssey to the North

Project MUSE

Mario Bencastro allows his readers to glimpse this world of coyotes, guerra, and border crossings in a straightforward, flowing plot that involves love letters between revolucionarios, deportation proceedings, newspaper articles, and a dual narrative of Calixto's journey north to Adams Morgan, a...

| Read Full Review of Odyssey to the North

Rate this book!

Add Review