What is the West? That cross-borderly mashup of music, footwear and haberdashery known as “cowboy cool”? Or is it indigenous? The Big Empty, healing refuge, Hispano, Chicano, Mexicano? Or is it now found in the scrim of “underwater” water-sucking tract houses? What is this landscape, if not seen through millions of different eyes each with its own needs, lusts, filters and projections? And how is it changing? (Radically.) In Desert America Rubén Martínez tackles these immense and thorny questions in a narrative of multiple strands masterfully braided into a lyrical whole. . .
CONTINUE reading C.M. Mayo's review in the Washington Independent Review of Books