2006 Book

Tortilla Curtain
By T.C. Boyle

Tortilla Curtain


"Afterward, he tried to reduce it to abstract terms, an accident in a world of accidents, the collision of opposing forces – the bumper of his car and the frail, scrambling hunched-over form of a dark little man with a wild look in his eye – but he wasn’t very successful.” The first sentence of T.C. Boyle’s controversial novel propels the reader into a conflict that is one of the most current issues at the forefront of the political arena, the controversy over illegal immigration. Topanga Canyon is home to two couples; one searching for their vision of the American Dream, the other trying desperately to save it.

Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacher lead an ordered sushi-and-recycling existence in an exclusive, hilltop neighborhood overlooking the canyon. Camped out in the ravine, Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon desperately search to find work and an apartment before their baby is born.

From the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delaney into intimate contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of error and misunderstanding. T.C. Boyle confronts not only immigration but social consciousness, environmental awareness, crime, and unemployment in a tale that raises the curtain on the dark side of the American dream.

—From the book jacket of The Tortilla Curtain and ReadingGroupGuides.com)

About the Author: T.C. Boyle

T.C. BoyleT.C. Boyle is the author of The Inner CircleDrop City (a finalist for the National Book Award), A Friend of the Earth,Riven RockThe Tortilla CurtainThe Road to Wellville,East Is EastWorld’s End (winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award), Budding ProspectsWater Music, and seven collections of stories. In 1999, he was the recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. His stories appear regularly in major American magazines, including The New YorkerGQEsquire, and Playboy. He lives near Santa Barbara, California. Boyle's fiction is known for its wit, biting satire, historical sweep and verbal pyrotechnics.

—From the book jacket of The Tortilla Curtain

To visit T.C. Boyle's official web site Click Here .

2006 Archived Events: The Tortilla Curtain By T.C. Boyle

  • A Day Without a Mexican
  • Wetback
Community Fiesta: Included dancing and food and refreshments. Also a silent auction of South of the border souvenirs to benefit Danz Elementary, a bilingual school serving migrant families in Green Bay, Wisc.

Book Discussions: Visit Snowbound Books for more information. For ideas on hosting your own book discussion, visit: Reading Group Guides: The Tortilla Curtain.

Essay Contest: "The New American Dream"
Winning essay readings at Peter White Public Library and published in Marquette Monthly. Read the winning entries from "The New American Dream" essay contest held in conjunction with the 2006 program selection, T.C. Boyle's The Tortilla Curtain.

Panel Discussion: The Social, Political and Economic Aspects of Migrant Workers
Panelists are Colleen Walker, Jason Schneider, Jessica Koehs and Steve Nelso; moderated by Chuck Ganzert.

Live Interactive Interview with author T. C. Boyle: Northern Michigan University’s Great Lakes Rooms via interactive TV. Click Here to watch a streaming video of the event.

Book Displays: Displayed materials regarding Mexico and Central and South America in the Peter White Public Library

Upper Peninsula Children's Museum "The World as a Village, Celebrating Cultures":

Special Tortilla Curtain Themed Events in October:
  • Cooking Latino Style in the Toddler Kitchen.
  • World Village Day will offer a host of stations where kids and adults can create and have fun around the theme of culture, traditions and celebrations.
  • Parent discussion of The Tortilla Curtain.  Come in and have a casual discussion with Jim and Nheena of the museum. Bring the kids to play.
  • Throughout the month, the 8-18 Media news team will be conducting interviews with people about their heritage and recording the interviews onto CDs, which will be played in the museum.

ALERT! Find out more about H.R. 6061, "The Secure Fence Act of 2006" and other immigration issues at the Library of Congress Web Site

Diversity at NMU

UNITED Conference
Multicultural Education & Resource Center
Center for Native American Studies