You know a book is worth checking out when Sandra Cisneros calls it "a book that punctures Latino insularity and connects us to the global story of ourselves." "A must-read!" would’ve done it for me but in any case, in John Phillip Santos’s new novel, The Farthest Home Is An Empire of Fire: A Tejano Elegy, the critically-acclaimed author returns to his roots. While his first book, 1999’s Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation, traces his father's Mexican mestizo origins, his new one focuses on his mother's conquistador ancestry, a quest that takes him from South Texas and North Mexico to Spain, and eventually, to the Middle East. Accompanied by the ghosts of Cervantes, Calvino, and Borges, Santos traverses the ill-fated ambition of his ancestors, delivers a sci-fi imagining of a cyborg "great grandfather from the future," and distills how his own experiences as a writer became a part of this all-encompassing, cosmic quest.
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