“Tortilla Curtain”

Yesterday, my friend Kate from Phoenix asked for a book club recommendation.  She said, “I want to pick something that will generate good discussion,” and the first thing that came to my mind was T.C. Boyle’s Tortilla Curtain.  With the current flap over immigration and border control in Arizona, this novel will absolutely generate some strong opinions and debate on both sides.  I read Tortilla Curtain in a literature class a year ago.  It tells the story of two couples whose lives collide in Southern California.  First, there’s a politically liberal, wealthy, white couple living in a gated community.  Second, you have Mexican illegals (Candido and his wife, America) who’ve made it over the border and are trying to survive while they reach for the American dream.

No matter how conservative or liberal you might THINK you are, I promise this story will make you question your views.  When it came time for the 20 of us in class to discuss the book, I thought we were going to come to blows.  We lost all political correctness.  We banged our hands on the table.  We yelled at each other.  At one point I remember wanting to come across the table to scream at one of my classmates.

No matter where you stand on the Arizona immigration bill, read this book and I guarantee you will question liberal and conservative rhetoric alike.

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