The Line Becomes a River Dispatches from the Mexican Border

Paperback (07 Feb 2019)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing 2019, an electrifying memoir from a Mexican-American US Border Patrol guard

'Stunningly good… The best thing I've read for ages'
James Rebanks, author of The Shepherd's Life

Francisco Cantú was a US Border Patrol agent from 2008 to 2012.

In this extraordinary account, he describes his work in the desert along the Mexican border. He tracks humans through blistering days and frigid nights. He detains the exhausted and hauls in the dead. The line he is sworn to defend, however, begins to dissolve. Haunted by nightmares, Cantú abandons the Patrol for civilian life - but he soon faces a final confrontation with the world he believed he had escaped.

'A raw, compelling memoir… An eloquent rebuke to all those who look to build walls rather than bridges between people'
Sunday Times

'A must-read… A page-turning personal story that holds until the final page and wrenches long after'

'Remarkable… Lyrical and moving'

About the Publisher



Vintage is a highly respected paperback publisher of contemporary fiction and non-fiction, publishing writers like Philip Roth, Martin Amis and Toni Morrison. There are many Booker and Nobel Prize-winning authors on the Vintage list such as Kingsley Amis, A S Byatt, J M Coetzee, Ismail Kadare, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Anne Enright, Iris Murdoch, Roddy Doyle and Ben Okri, to name a few.

Book information

ISBN: 9781784707057
Publisher: Random House
Imprint: Vintage
Pub date:
DEWEY: 363.285092
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 278
Weight: 206g
Height: 197mm
Width: 128mm
Spine width: 18mm