The Book of Wanderers by Reyes Ramirez
What do a family of luchadores, a teen on the run, a rideshare driver, a lucid dreamer, a migrant worker in space, a mecha soldier, and a zombie-and-neo-Nazi fighter have in common?
Reyes Ramirez’s dynamic short story collection follows new lineages of Mexican and Salvadoran diasporas traversing life in Houston, across borders, and even on Mars. Themes of wandering weave throughout each story, bringing feelings of unease and liberation as characters navigate cultural, physical, and psychological separation and loss from one generation to the next in a tumultuous nation.
The Book of Wanderers deeply explores Houston, a Gulf Coast metropolis that incorporates Southern, Western, and Southwestern identities near the borderlands with a connection to the cosmos. As such, each story becomes increasingly further removed from our lived reality, engaging numerous genres from emotionally touching realist fiction to action-packed speculative fiction, as well as hallucinatory realism, magical realism, noir, and science fiction.
Fascinating characters and unexpected plots unpack what it means to be Latinx in contemporary—and perhaps future—America. The characters work, love, struggle, and never stop trying to control their reality. They dream of building communities and finding peace. How can they succeed if they must constantly leave one place for another? In a nation that demands assimilation, how can they define themselves when they have to start anew with each generation? The characters in The Book of Wanderers create their own lineages, philosophies for life, and markers for their humanity at the cost of home. So they remain wanderers . . . for now.