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Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town Hardcover – October 15, 2013
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—Booklist, starred review
“An in-depth look at the entwined issues of racism and anti-immigration sentiment.”
“Aptly captures a town’s struggle to reconcile its lilywhite past with its increasingly diverse present.”
“Hunting Season provides a stunningly fair vision of what immigration from Latin America has meant for pockets of the suburban United States.”
—Columbia Journalism Review
“An account that is as unflinching as it is important. Both an incisive reconstruction of a heartbreaking murder and an unsparing diagnosis of a national malady … with Hunting Season Ojito has done truth an invaluable service. Extraordinary.”
—Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
“Mirta Ojito tells a powerful story, connecting us with the real-life people who are all too often left out of the immigration debate. This book should be required reading in any community grappling with the issues of immigration, which often remain abstract and divisive.… Masterfully written, imbued with a deep, compassionate, and healing intelligence.”
—Julia Alvarez, author of A Wedding in Haiti
“Compelling and complex … Told with the authority of a much-respected journalist, whose own experience as an immigrant lends this book the depth, insights, and poignancy that only someone of her experience can convincingly—and rightfully—convey.”
—Oscar Hijuelos, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
“Through a powerful and true story, Hunting Season brings to life how an all-American town confronts immigration. This book reveals not only the shortcomings of our immigration system but also reminds us how we might think of each other and how we treat all of our neighbors, whether or not they look like us. This is our human story.”
—Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore
“With the hyperbolic rhetoric of immigration spewing from every medium, we forget that there are dreams on either side of the divide that has cleaved United States society and threatens our sense of self. Respected journalist Mirta Ojito writes about immigration from the perspective of those who have lived it: from the Italian-descendant mayor of Patchogue to a naturalized waiter from Colombia, from undocumented Ecuadorean laborers to teenagers pumped on adrenaline with not enough to do on a fall night—to heartbroken parents on two continents. This is an important book. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I Was Puerto Rican
Top Customer Reviews
There are several layers to Hunting Season. One of the most interesting is the relationship between a small village in Ecuador and Long Island, New York. For years, many thousands of Ecuadorans from this hard-working region have made it to Long Island and worked jobs most Americans don't want. They wash dishes, work construction, etc. Most of these people plan to go back to Ecuador after saving up some money. As a percentage, more Ecuadorans live abroad than any other country in South America. The tension between the Hispanic population is well-described by award-winning author Mirta Ojito.
Another layer to Hunting Season is xenophobia in Long Island in the years preceding Lucero's death. The author condemns one vocally anti-immigrant councilman for creating a climate of hate which may have indirectly contributed to Lucero's death. Pundits like CNN's Lou Dobbs also get some coverage in the book.
One flaw in the narrative is that Jeffrey Conroy, the 17-year old killer, gets off easily. The author spends so much time on the sociological explanation for the killing that she fails to expose his personal responsibility.Read more ›
The author covers the Latino stereotypes and misconceptions countered with the reality of who they really are. Normal people, actually. In my opinion, matter what group any one of us belong to, there are stereotypes and misconceptions about each and every of us. Unfortunately, there are specific groups who find themselves the victims of hate crimes.
This is a must read book.
Ojito introduces us to Lucero, his family, and the teenagers who participated in this hate crime. We also get a good picture of Patchogue, Long Island, a small safe town - at least to most people. The mayor of Patchogue is told about the fears that the immigrant population had and how they limited their activities after dark so as not to attract the attention of those looking to harm them.
Although this is a story of Lucero and the town of Patchogue, the events in this town speak to a bigger problem- that of hatred toward immigrants looking to make a better life by a group of people descended from immigrants themselves. Ojito shares data and research she has done about immigrants and crimes against them, providing an in depth look at a problem not unique to this one man or this one town.
The author is definitely a compassionate writer. No person in the story was ignored. From Equadorian immigrant, to Irish-Catholic librarian, upper middle class white boy, Italian-American village cop and various passers-by, this story has been told by all angles. Despite wanting to be unbiased, though, there is quite a bit of blame from the author toward the current immigration policies. How can an otherwise peaceful village be now accused of such racist treatment and wanton killing of its immigrants? How could all this have been kept silent for so long?
While the story does seem to lose its focus toward the end (and ends with too much political rant), this is a story that needs to be told and paid attention to. Highly recommended for immigration specialists, Americana aficionados and those just wanting an equal voice for all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book shows both sides of the coin. What sets this wave of immigrants apart is their reluctance to assimilate and become American citizens. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Werner
Well written non-fiction account of the brutal murder of an immigrant on Long Island.Published 20 months ago by RAM
This book made me angry; it wasn't because of how it was written or anything of that sort, no, it was because I had heard nothing about this incident. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
A well-written account that demonstrates the devastating impact that angry and hateful rhetoric can have. Read morePublished on June 14, 2014 by susan montgomery
A premier journalist digs into the horrific murder of an immigrant laborer in Long Island. With groundbreaking reporting and first-ever interviews with the families and officials... Read morePublished on April 24, 2014 by Luisita Torregrosa
This is a complex and heartbreaking true story that emphazises the need of better understanding of how we as a nation deal with the immigration debate. Read morePublished on April 5, 2014 by Seattle, WA
Well written, well conceptualized, well researched, well constructed tale of a town in the US, a village in South America, a family, the cultural issues of immigration as seen from... Read morePublished on February 27, 2014 by Gma Sara
I remember hearing about this and thinking back to summers spent on a Long Island private beach that belonged to the Suffolk county township, that was patrolled to keep... Read morePublished on February 20, 2014 by Kate
Excellent book on the US's fraught relationship with immigration. Ojito has a fair, objective approach to covering the facts and the incident itself. Read morePublished on January 10, 2014 by TM