Francisco Cantú


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Francisco Cantú served as an agent for the United States Border Patrol in the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas from 2008 to 2012. A former Fulbright fellow, he is the recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award. His essays and translations have been featured on This American Life and in Best American Essays, Harper’s, Guernica, Orion, n+1 and Ploughshares. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Average rating: 3.98 · 8,646 ratings · 1,444 reviews · 4 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Line Becomes A River: D...

3.98 avg rating — 8,626 ratings — published 2018 — 26 editions
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Ploughshares Winter 2015-20...

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3.67 avg rating — 12 ratings
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America's Most Alarming Wri...

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4.60 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2019 — 2 editions
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Blue Desert

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4.12 avg rating — 176 ratings — published 1986 — 4 editions
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“You spent nearly four years on the border, she said. You weren’t just observing a reality, you were participating in it. You can’t exist within a system for that long without being implicated, without absorbing its poison. And let me tell you, it isn’t something that’s just going to slowly go away. It’s part of who you’ve become. So what will you do? All you can do is try to find a place to hold it, a way to not lose some purpose for it all.”
Francisco Cantú, The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border

“As I swam toward a bend in the canyon, the river became increasingly shallow. In a patch of sunlight, two longnose gars, relics of the Paleozoic era, hovered in the silted waters. I stood to walk along the adjacent shorelines, crossing the river time and again as each bank came to an end, until finally, for one brief moment, I forgot in which country I stood. All around me the landscape trembled and breathed as one.”
Francisco Cantú, The Line Becomes A River: Dispatches from the Border

“There are days when I feel I am becoming good at what I do. And then I wonder, what does it mean to be good at this?”
Francisco Cantú, The Line Becomes A River: Dispatches from the Border

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