Journalist Linda Valdez weaves an immigration love story in her memoir Crossing the Line: A Marriage Across Borders.

Blurred Line

Written by Lauren Loftus Category: Arts Issue: January 2017
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“Years later, we went back to take a picture of that hole and put it in the family album,” writes Phoenix journalist Linda Valdez. The hole – on the Arizona/Mexico border – is the one Valdez’s husband Sixto slipped through illegally 30 years ago. In her memoir Crossing the Line: A Marriage Across Borders, Valdez dispenses with much of the detail of how she – a gringa – fell in love with this dark-eyed, straitlaced, non-English-speaking man, and their efforts to secure his permanent resident card. Instead, she focuses on the appreciation and conflicted privilege she feels being initiated into Sixto’s family in Mexico. Valdez doesn’t employ much of the fire-tongued wit she’s known for in Pulitzer Prize-nominated immigration editorials for The Arizona Republic and Tucson Daily Star, and the book drags at times. But romantics will appreciate her fish-out-of water wonder of inheriting a new family – illegal border crossing or no.

— Lauren Loftus