Non-fiction is not my first love, not my favorite genre in which to read. However, Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway kept me turning pages like any good novel. It is excellent investigative reporting on the US border policy. The readability is probably what made this book a Pulitzer Prize finalist. It deals with illegal immigration, specifically from Mexico and South America into Arizona, California, and Texas.
The author tells the story of a 2001 crossing of the desert which contains the area known as “The Devil’s Highway.” The author expresses his own “outrage tempered with concern.” As one critic explained, Urrea writes with “tragic and beautiful intimacy.” Dealing with hyperthermia and how people die in the desert, the author traces a group walking across and down the Devil’s Highway seeking a better life in America. It is at times, “artful, powerful, and shocking.” It is a border story written by a self-proclaimed border son, a fronteriza.
The lasting impression this book will have on you is that it will haunt you.