Today is the official publication date of All the Agents and Saints by Stephanie Elizondo Griest. As we wish a happy book birthday to Stephanie and All the Agents and Saints, we wanted to share the coverage that she’s been getting to keep our readers in the loop!
Texas Monthly put All the Agents and Saints on its July reading list, and Las Comadres & Friends National Latino Book Club selected it for their 2017 Summer Reading List. The Texas Observer calls it “an extraordinary book” and “a model for how a curious person, any person who is sufficiently interested, can begin to navigate the boundaries that compartmentalize our country, and ourselves, toward wholeness.” Read an excerpt on Aster(ix), and listen to Stephanie’s interview on KKUP “Out of Our Minds” radio show with Rachelle Escamilla. Other highlights include reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews (also included on 10 Buzzworthy Books from Memoirists & Essayists by Kirkus), and ALA Booklist.
Stephanie had a really special reading at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., this past Sunday and will be doing more events throughout the summer and into fall. We’ll keep spreading the word here and on Twitter, but for the full events schedule, check out our website page.
So what’s all the buzz about? After a decade of chasing stories around the globe, intrepid travel writer Stephanie Elizondo Griest followed the magnetic pull home—only to discover that her native South Texas had been radically transformed in her absence. Ravaged by drug wars and barricaded by an eighteen-foot steel wall, her ancestral land had become the nation’s foremost crossing ground for undocumented workers, many of whom perished along the way. The frequency of these tragedies seemed like a terrible coincidence, before Elizondo Griest moved to the New York / Canada borderlands. Once she began to meet Mohawks from the Akwesasne Nation, however, she recognized striking parallels to life on the southern border.
Having lost their land through devious treaties, their mother tongues at English-only schools, and their traditional occupations through capitalist ventures, Tejanos and Mohawks alike struggle under the legacy of colonialism. Toxic industries surround their neighborhoods while the U.S. Border Patrol militarizes them. Combating these forces are legions of artists and activists devoted to preserving their indigenous cultures. Complex belief systems, meanwhile, conjure miracles. In All the Agents and Saints, Elizondo Griest weaves seven years of stories into a meditation on the existential impact of international borderlines by illuminating the spaces in between and the people who live there.
Thanks for sharing your stories, Stephanie, and we can’t wait to see what’s next as All the Agents and Saints makes its way into the world.