"And the Earth Did Not Devour Him". Tomas Rivera.
Let's face it: we all need America. We need it economically, politically, culturally. But, THANK GOD!!, we need differently.
On the one hand, for Iraqi people, for instance, (and to some extent for Romanians) the American way is the best way! On this account, we are more than lucky that Americans are generous enough to give us lessons of democracy, freedom and acceptance.
For Canadians, on the other hand, America is a national ‘phobia’, their purpose being to become as different as humanly possible from their neighbours: “Canadians do not want to become Americans. This is what created us in first place, this desire not to be American, and it is a sentiment that is getting stronger, not weaker.” (Will Ferguson, Why I Hate Canadians, p 111)
For Latinos America is a dream. A dream that can become a successful story, or, on the contrary, one that can easily turn into a nightmare. Successful stories of Latinos in America are celebrated in films, books, blogs, song, TV shows etc. But so are the 'nightmares'.
A very good example of fiction (due to its different and intricate structure it is difficult to call it a novel) that portrays the harsh existence of Latinos in America is Tomas Rivera's And the Earth Did Not Devour Him. There are stories of different Latinos that are skillfully intermingled and combined together by the consciousness of one boy, a boy who experiences, in the end of the 'novel', an epiphany: "He had made a discovery. To discover and rediscover and piece things together. This to this, that to that, all with all. That was it. That was everything. He was thrilled."
A detailed portrait of a Latino community is what Rivera managed to illustrate in his book. A community of the victims. A literature of the victims. Victims who, despite all adversities, never stop hoping.
"I would like to see all of the people together. And then, if I had great big amrs, I could embrace them all, I wish I could talk to all of them again, but all of them together. But that, only in a dream." Or in fiction!