Sandino on the Border. By Marc Zimmerman. ISBN:13: 978-1722660802. $22.95
A sequel to his Lines on the Border (2017), Marc Zimmerman’s new book centers on his protagonist Ben’s relation to Helena, a Nicaraguan woman, and her search for personal and professional growth in the context of the Central American struggle during the Cold War on the U.S.-Mexican border and beyond—all in the shadow of Nicaraguan national hero, César Augusto Sandino.
Book I follows Ben’s growing involvement with Helena and her efforts to win back her son who is kidnapped by her estranged husband. Book II tells of Helena’s family: an uncle, who coordinates Sandinista-related border crossings; a mother, who smuggles clothes from San Diego to Mexico City; an aunt who fails to keep her son’s family from falling apart in L.A.; a son who moves from the Californias to Minnesota; a grandmother smuggled across the border and expressing wonder at the world she beholds.
“Nothing is more movable than borders, no matter how many fences and walls you build to make them permanent. Borders are ethnic and ethical,, geographical, historical, and very, very personal. They try to tell us that we can be here but not there, that we can be this but not that. But do they succeed? Wherever we look, there is always a border—before or behind us, or cutting us in two. We’re all divided territories, dreaming of what we were, but sensing what our border-crossings have made of us.” —Alessandro Carrera, Ph.D. & John and Rebecca Moores Professor World Cultures and Literatures, MCL, U. of Houston
With Carlos Barberena’s haunting prints and echoes of John Keats’ poetry, Sandino on the Border tells a new story of the Americas, the Sandinista Revolution and border life. The book’s multi-voiced narrative recalls Faulkner but also evokes Fitzgerald and Hemingway even as it relates to more recent discursive modes representing the transnational conflicts and relations which mark our time.
Marc Zimmerman is U. of Illinois at Chicago and U. of Houston Emeritus Professor. He worked in Sandinista Nicaragua and produced several books on Central American themes. His fiction includes Stores of Winter and Martín and Marvin, (LACASA Books 2006 and 2016) —as well as Lines on the Border, The Italian Daze, and The Short of it All (Floricanto Press 2017 and 2018).
With art work by Carlos Barberena.