The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen

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The award-winning debut novel by young Mexican author Aura Xilonen, The Gringo Champion is a thrillingly inventive story about crossing borders that the Los Angeles Review of Books called "one of the must-read books of 2017."

Liborio has to leave Mexico, a land that has taught him little more than a keen instinct for survival. He crosses the Rio Bravo, like so many others, to reach "the promised land." And in a barrio like any other, in some gringo city, this illegal immigrant tells his story.

As Liborio narrates his memories we discover a childhood scarred by malnutrition and abandonment, an adolescence lived with a sense of having nothing to lose. In his new home, he finds a job at a bookstore. He falls in love with a woman so intensely that his fantasies of her verge on obsession. And, finally, he finds himself on a path that just might save him: he becomes a boxer.

This is a migrant's story of deracination, loneliness, fear, and finally, love told in a sparkling, innovative prose. It's Million Dollar Baby meets The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and a story of migration and hope that is as topical as it is timeless.

About Aura Xilonen

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Published January 17, 2017 by Europa Editions. 321 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Sports & Outdoors. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Gringo Champion

Variations of this literary operation can be found in genres such as the urban chronicle (where Carlos Monsiváis created a genre of his own through his baroque linguistic engagement with everyday life, media, and high culture), in landmark books representing sexual marginalization (like Luis Zapa...

Feb 15 2017 | Read Full Review of The Gringo Champion