It’s a different one. Not one I’ve written but one I’ve edited, on its way out, translated by Andrea Rosenberg from the Spanish original by David Jimenez. The title is Children of the Monsoon. It’s a difficult book, not something you pick up in an airport, unless you’re of a serious bent, not traveling for pleasure. If you pick it up like that, you might not only not like the book, you might cut your trip short. If there is something that is the opposite of travel literature, this would probably qualify. Travel lit often makes one feel like traveling. Not this. At least not for me. My response in reading the book was to feel guilty about all the traveling I’ve done.
Why? Because these are clear-eyed portraits, not the sorts of things one sees in one’s dreams of traveling to far away places. Here you see people up close, especially young, vulnerable people. This is why I find it hard to read. But sometimes hard things are important. I felt these hard stories were important and worth reading. Jimenez has a sincere voice, a careful eye. He seems to have a good heart. Rosenburg has done a fantastic job in making the voice sing in English. It’s a really good book, and it has taught me things about the world that I didn’t know before. I am grateful that we got the chance to publish it, and I hope many people will find it compelling and beautiful. I think it is both.