The Deportation of Wopper Barraza

  A novel by Maceo Montoya

Selected Praise

Available from:

University of New Mexico Press

"A brilliant and innovative take on an issue close to the hearts and minds of families who have one foot planted firmly on both sides of the border. It is a deportation story in reverse: a bold re-envisioning with unexpected consequences, mystery, and insight. In the end, it is a story that is more about the line between possibility and human potential than it is about a line in the dirt.”


-Tim Z. Hernandez

“I love this novel: the young lovers, the hard deals of municipio life, and the relationships breaking across la frontera and the fractures of city-barrio-rancho on the borderland grid of U.S./Mexico. Wopper Barraza is everywhere, yet he is a story never told since we are used to just remembering Mexico, not double-remembering—Mexico, U.S.A., then back again. Montoya’s dialogue is fierce, his multi-voices tender and rough-cut crystal; his characters are carved with the dark-real scalpel of Juan Rulfo and Victor Martinez. Montoya makes it look so easy to enter lives never entered. A first in Chicana/Latino letters. Wopper is our new reality—a heavy prizewinner on all accounts and in both directions.”


-Juan Felipe Herrera, California Poet Laureate

“Chicanos may seem bound to yet another century of that same old minimum wage about who we are and why here instead of there, but a hum of new building is on. Its young workers, like Maceo Montoya, are fast, talented, and as smart as you. Montoya’s Wopper is all of us who are from American neighborhoods in the West, searching for a Mexican American homeland we aren’t just deported to, but build ourselves.”


-Dagoberto Gilb

"Montoya flips the familiar tale of northbound immigration on its head.”

--Selected as "The Best of the West"


-Los Angeles Magazine

Selected Interviews:

"Montoya manages to balance humor with pathos as he challenges our views on immigration, gender roles, and politics. This is an engaging, candid novel that establishes Montoya’s position as one of our more eloquent social commentators.”


-Los Angeles Review of Books

"Montoya’s humorous yet moving critique of the United States’ deportation policies avoids easy depictions of good and bad. The book features a decidedly complicated anti-hero whose journey sheds light on the lives of those who are affected when a person disappears from either side of the border.”

--Selected as one of the "14 Must-Read Works of Chicano Literature"