Campus Currents

What's that you're reading?

Editor's note: We asked novelist and UNH assistant professor of English Margaret-Love Denman what's on her nightstand. Denman says:

"Recently, a writer friend of mine mentioned that he never read anything anybody recommended unless that person said that the work changed his or her life. T.C. Boyle's The Tortilla Curtain may or may not meet such standards, but I think it would behoove most of middle America to investigate this story of two men on a collision course. Delaney Mossbacher is a prosperous liberal humanist committed, philosophically, at least, to all causes, great and small. In a moment of distraction, driving home in his new Lexus, he runs over, but doesn't kill Candido Rincon, an illegal alien just up from Mexico. Boyle manages to make the plight of both compelling. It's easy to gain the reader's sympathy for hapless Candido, a man with no skills, no money, looking for a fresh start, but harder to garner sympathy for Delaney, a writer of ecological essays who lives in a gated community, while Candido and his pregnant girlfriend (ironically named America) huddle nearby under a tent woven of sticks and garbage bags. The lives of the two men are often separated by only a few feet of steep canyon wall. The second chance meeting of Delaney and Candido, the final scene of the novel, could be considered as redemptive, forgiving, maybe even life-changing." ~

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