Out of the Sierra

Current Stock: 2
UPC: 9781566896535
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Authors: Victoria Blanco
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Coffee House Press (June 11, 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 328 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1566896533
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1566896535

A displaced family charts a path forward in this testament to the power of perseverance and the many forms resistance can take.

The Rarámuri people of Chihuahua, Mexico, make up one of the largest Indigenous tribes of North America. Renowned for maintaining their language and cultural traditions in the face of colonization, they have weathered numerous hardships—climate disaster, poverty, cultural erasure—that have only worsened during the twenty-first century.

Based on more than a decade of oral history and participatory field work, 
Out of the Sierra paints a vivid and vital portrait of Rarámuri displacement. When drought leaves the Gutiérrez family with nothing to eat, they are faced with the choice many Rarámuris must make: remain and hope for rain and aid, or leave their sacred homeland behind. Luis, Martina, and their children choose to journey from their home in the Sierra Madre mountains toward a new and uncertain future in a government-funded Indigenous settlement.


Praise for Out of the Sierra

An ABA Indies Introduce Title
A June Indie Next Pick
The Millions, “Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2024”

“At once painfully intimate and staunchly unsentimental, Out of the Sierra welcomes readers into the Rarámuri world and invites us to count the human costs of climate change, capitalism, and anti-Indigenous prejudice.” Booklist starred review

“An important book for our times, dealing with pressing issues such as colonialism, migration, climate change, and the broken justice system.” 
The Millions

“A painstakingly recorded, sensitively presented work of a unique “lived experience” in northern Mexico.” 
Kirkus Reviews

“Through vivid character portraits and novelistic storytelling, Blanco captures what it’s like for the Rarámuri to endure such severe cultural upheaval.” 
Publishers Weekly

"Forged in more than a decade of participatory research and accompaniment, 
Out of the Sierra offers readers a rare glimpse of how one indigenous Rarámuri family has battled sublimation and subjugation at the dizzying edge of a modern borderland metropolis. Encapsulating a broad spectrum of beauty, joy, fury, and loss, Blanco details quotidian acts of injustice and resistance, piercing through old narratives of erasure and cultural disappearance to offer up a proud and vivid antidote.” —Francisco Cantú

“In this compassionate witnessing of the Rarámuri’s living history, Blanco has intentionally reframed a long history of colonized literary poaching from Indigenous people. By centering their origin story and portraying their daily lives as resistance against cultural subjugation, Blanco's eloquent prose reminds us of the wisdom of the Rarámuri's teaching of 
korima, that gifts from the land are meant to be shared with loving generosity.”  —Diane Wilson

"In Out of the Sierra, Victoria Blanco writes with delicacy and clarity about the Rarámuri’s refusal to assimilate even as they struggle with forced relocation, extortion, and poverty. It is a story that demands recognition of the climate crisis in progress and the human rights abuses it causes and exacerbates.” —Claire Boyles

“Lyric, wise, and urgent, Out of the Sierra keeps company with Valeria Luiselli, Elizabeth Rush, and Robin Wall Kimmerer. Blanco's investigative journalism deserves more than a flattering comparison: she is a powerful new voice in ecological nonfiction and her book is not to be missed.” —Kathryn Savage

"Victoria Blanco's Out of the Sierra stands alongside Andrea Elliott's Invisible Child and Matthew Desmond's Evicted as a triumph of reporting and storytelling. Its narrative of an uprooted family pushed to their limits is wrenching, enthralling, and revelatory. It reoriented me to the world.” —Megha Majumdar

"Out of the Sierra should not only be considered a book but also an historical document. Dynamic, compassionate, and heartbreaking, Victoria Blanco has a gift for blending reportage, cultural commentary, and socioeconomic issues through an Indigenous community that demands our attention from the first page and doesn't let up.” —Morgan Jerkins








About the Author

Victoria Blanco’s writing has been published in the New York TimesCatapultGuernica, and others. She holds her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota. She is from El Paso, Texas, and now lives in Minneapolis with her three sons.