Infinite Country: A Novel

Infinite Country: A Novel

by Patricia Engel (Author)

For readers of Valeria Luiselli and Edwidge Danticat, an urgent and lyrical novel about a Colombian family fractured by deportation, offering an intimate perspective on an experience that so many have endured—and are enduring right now. At the dawn of the new millennium, Colombia is a country devastated by half a century of violence. Elena and Mauro are teenagers when they meet, their blooming love an antidote to the mounting brutality of life in Bogotá. Once their first daughter is born, and facing grim economic prospects, they set their sights on the United States. They travel to Houston and send wages back to Elena’s mother, all the while weighing whether to risk overstaying their tourist visas or to return to Bogotá. As their family expands, and they move again and again, their decision to ignore their exit dates plunges the young family into the precariousness of undocumented status, the threat of discovery menacing a life already strained. When Mauro is deported, Elena, now tasked with caring for their three small children, makes a difficult choice that will ease her burdens but splinter the family even further. Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Patricia Engel, herself the daughter of Colombian immigrants and a dual citizen, gives voice to Mauro and Elena, as well as their children, Karina, Nando, and Talia—each one navigating a divided existence, weighing their allegiance to the past, the future, to one another, and to themselves. Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality for the undocumented in America, Infinite Country is the story of two countries and one mixed-status family—for whom every triumph is stitched with regret and every dream pursued bears the weight of a dream deferred.

Immerse yourself in the poignant and evocative world of Patricia Engel's "Infinite Country: A Novel," a captivating exploration of family, displacement, and the enduring bonds of love. Set amidst the vibrant backdrop of Colombia and the United States, this novel weaves together the lives of Talia, Mauro, and Elena, three unforgettable characters grappling with the complexities of their identities, relationships, and the search for a sense of belonging.

As Talia navigates the challenges of being a first-generation Colombian-American in Queens, New York, she finds solace in her tight-knit family and the comfort of her neighborhood. Yet, her world is turned upside down when her parents are detained and face deportation, leaving Talia to shoulder the burden of their absence. In a parallel narrative, we meet Mauro, a young man fleeing violence in rural Colombia, embarking on a perilous journey to find a new home. His path eventually leads him to the United States, where he grapples with the struggles of undocumented life and the yearning for a brighter future.

Meanwhile, Elena, a Colombian-American journalist, finds herself drawn to a story about a young girl who disappeared from a small town in Colombia years ago. As she delves deeper into the investigation, she uncovers a web of secrets and injustices that resonate with her own family's past. Throughout the novel, the lives of Talia, Mauro, and Elena intertwine, shedding light on the profound ways in which displacement, immigration, and cultural identity shape our lives.

Patricia Engel's "Infinite Country" is a poignant and deeply moving story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Through her evocative prose and nuanced characterization, Engel explores the complexities of family dynamics, the challenges of assimilation, and the enduring power of hope and love. Discover this remarkable novel and embark on an emotional journey that will linger in your heart long after you finish reading.


1 pages