This author appeared at the 2012 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.
It isn’t as easy as deciding one day that today is the day you will cross the border and step foot on the promised land. To Hector, Estados Unidos de América is a land that is full of guarantees, hopes, and dreams that just need to be conquered. To his young wife, Lilia, it is the unknown, the unforeseen, and the unfamiliar. In Michel Stone’s debut novel The Iguana Tree the journey that ensues when Hector leaves his small Oaxacan hometown of Puerto Isadore, his wife Lilia, and their infant daughter Alejandra, is quick and not as difficult as Hector thought it would be. He builds a life in South Carolina, working as an illegal immigrant to save money to bring his family to him. He celebrates the small accomplishments with a realization that "a mixture of fear and joy would always dwell within him." However, when everything that was tying Lilia down to Puerto Isadore disappears, she forgoes her husband’s wishes of waiting until he sends for her and with her infant daughter in tow sets out to join her husband by crossing the border as an illegal immigrant. The answers are never easy: a coyote rapes Lilia, the police officer who pulls them over takes all their money, and their relationship is tested when the unthinkable happens. Without taking sides on the immigration subject, Stone delivers an honest, heartbreaking look at those who choose to cross. Stone is also the author of a dozen short stories and essays published in magazines and journals. She is the 2011 recipient of the SC Fiction Project Award. Stone was born and raised in South Carolina, and now resides in Spartanburg, SC.
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