Inspired by J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace, El NiNo tracks the survival of one woman and a young, undocumented migrant as they journey through the no-man's-land of a remote southwestern desert.
Honey hasn't seen her mother, Marianne, in more than two years. She drives deep into the once-prosperous border region of the Oro Desert for a surprise visit, only to discover that Marianne has vanished.
Alone in an unforgiving environment populated with hostile locals, she meets ChAvez, a young "coyote" or human trafficker, who convinces Honey he knows her mother's whereabouts and agrees to take her there—for a price. As they make their way through the Oro's brutal no-man's-land they are tracked by Ocho, a teenage bounty hunter determined to recruit ChAvez. And then there is Baez, Marianne's wizened Shepherd-coyote mix, whose death and life intimately intersect with Honey and ChAvez's search for Marianne and who tells the story of the Oro Desert as it slowly comes apart.
Told in three distinct voices, El NiNo is an intricately constructed and starkly written novel from a bold and inventive new writer.
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