University of Arizona Campus  •  March 10 - 11, 2018  •  9:30am to 5:30pm
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Francisco Cantú

Beowulf Sheehan

Arizona Riverpark Inn

Francisco Cantú served as an agent for the Border Patrol from 2008-2012, working in the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. His newly-published memoir, "The Line Becomes a River," describes his experiences. More importantly, he introduces us to real people trying to lead real lives along "The Line."

For Francisco Cantú, the border is in his blood. His mother, a park ranger and the daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners are posted in remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes and crossing corridors where they learn to track other humans under the blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive.

Plagued by nightmares, he abandons the Border Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the whole story. Searing and unforgettable, "The Line Becomes a River" makes urgent and personal the violence our border wreaks on both sides of the line. A former Fulbright fellow, he is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a 2017 Whiting Award. His writing and translations have been featured in The Best American Essays, Harper’s, n+1, Orion, and Guernica, as well as on This American Life. He lives in Tucson.

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Scheduled events:
Storm & Stress: Our Changing Climate and the Human Ecology
Most scientists agree-climate change is real and affecting the entire planet in ways that may be irreversible. Drought, fires, desertification, immigration, animal extinction, pollution--these are all effects of dramatic climate change. The authors will discuss our changing climate and its impact on our water supply, immigration and the future of humanity.

Science City - Main Stage (Seats 195)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 10, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Science / Medicine / Technology
Signing area: Signing Area - Flandrau BookStore (Science City) (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Francisco Cantú, Todd Miller, David Owen
Moderator: Carl DeVito
Lives on the Border
Award-winning authors Phil Caputo and Francisco Cantú offer multi-faceted reflections on contested lands, fatal realities and moral struggles on both sides of the border in fact and fiction.

Pima County Public Library/Nuestras Raíces/Presentation Stage (Seats 150)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 11, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Nuestras Raices
Signing area: Pima County Public Library/Nuestras Raíces/Craft Tent & Signing Area (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Francisco Cantú, Philip Caputo
Moderator: Nancy Montoya

The Line Becomes a River
History / Biography
February 2018
ISBN 9780735217713
256 pages
$26.00, INSTOCK
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"A former Border Patrol agent's haunting experience of an unnatural divide and the lives caught on either side, struggling to cross or to defend it"--

Named Sponsors

Arizona Daily Star
University of Arizona

Presenting Sponsors

Tucson Medical Center

Major Sponsors

Friend of the Festival
Pima County Public Library
Stocker Foundation
University of Arizona BookStores
Western National Parks Association
William & Mary Ross Foundation
University of Arizona - Facilities Management

Key Sponsors

Brucker Trust
Marshall Foundation
Monark Premium Appliance Company

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