Best History / Political Book, 2012 International Latino Book Awards

2011 National Book Prize in Non-Fiction from Grub Street, Boston’s literary center

“[This book] cuts through the rhetoric of globalization to show what happens to a community when the government, abetted by international industrial interests, threatens to build a superhighway through farmland and to turn ancient fishing waters into shrimp farms, ostensibly for the good of all. Author Wendy Call shows the effects of industrialization not by preaching against it or by romanticizing village life from afar; instead she introduces us to the people she came to know while living for two years on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, in Mexico’s extreme south, often called the country’s ‘little waist.’ In beautiful prose, she profiles a teacher, a fisherman and several activists in the region in order to show how even the threat of change can divide a community. Through her travels in the region, she documents its history, as well as the economic and cultural differences among its peoples.”
Michelle Seaton, Grub Street Head Juror