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The Tortilla Curtain (1995)

by T. Coraghessan Boyle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,418962,881 (3.77)129
Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacker lead an ordered sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: he is a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive realtor. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine. And from the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delany into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding.… (more)
  1. 20
    Coyotes: A Journey Through the Secret World of America's Illegal Aliens by Ted Conover (Mrs.Stansbury)
    Mrs.Stansbury: If you would like to read a nonfiction account of illegal immigration try "Coyotes" by Ted Conover. Both Conover and Boyle attempt to be unbiased in their writing and open eyes to all sides of the issues associated with illegal immigration.
  2. 10
    The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Theme of workers' rights
  3. 21
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Theme of workers' rights
  4. 10
    The Harvest Gypsies by John Steinbeck (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: These are articles Steinbeck wrote about how California has used immigrant labor in it's history. Nothing like The Tortilla Curtain, but it is interesting background and will give you something to think about.
  5. 00
    Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (JuliaMaria)
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» See also 129 mentions

English (89)  German (6)  French (1)  All languages (96)
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
Story of contrasting cultures in the Southwest. It was a story of victimization from two perspectives, one showing the inhuman suffering of an illegal Mexican immigrant trying to make a life in southern California, and one showing the pressures and protectionism of local residents. It's a contrast of the haves and have-nots, both having their own sense of rights and entitlement, neither seeming able to come to grips with the others culture or perspectives. It's not meant to present a complete look at the illegal immigration issue, but just one small story among many, some which may be sympathetic, others horrific.
( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
audiobook fiction (rich white residents Latinx immigrants in Los Angeles area; written by white English professor at USC, before the ownvoices movement)

This was on my to-read list for a long time, but since there are many more own-voices options now, I am much less interested in it. I have listened to 4-5 chapters (2-1/2 hours) and so far it is OK but am shelving for now--I may come back to it when I have more time, but generally found the characters (writer Delaney and realtor Kyra) to be somewhat unappealing.
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
Depressing - characters had no redeeming qualities. Read by the author ( )
  elifra | Sep 7, 2020 |
I recall really not enjoying this book. I actually think I listened to a bootlegged audiobook version while I played Minecraft to distract myself from the plot. Wait...what was the plot? I can't really remember, but I do remember it dealt with immigration. ( )
  bhiggs | Apr 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Boyle, T. Coraghessanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Commandeur, SjaakTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grüneis, RobertForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gutierrez, SergioNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Häupl, MichaelForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richter, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosenblat, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
They ain't human. A human being wouldn't live like they do. A human being couldn't stand it to be so dirty and miserable. — John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
Dedication
For Pablo and Theresa Campos
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Afterward, he tried to reduce it to abstract terms, an accident in a world of accidents, the collision of opposing forces - the bumper of his car and the frail scrambling hunched-over form of a dark little man with a wild look in his eye - but he wasn't very successful.
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Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacker lead an ordered sushi-and-recycling existence in a newly gated hilltop community: he is a sensitive nature writer, she an obsessive realtor. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately cling to their vision of the American Dream as they fight off starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the ravine. And from the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delany into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding.

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