Fiction and Chicana and Chicano

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The Deportation of Wopper Barraza: A Novel

Maceo Montoya

2015 International Latino Book Award Honorable Mention for Best Latino Focused Fiction Book, English

“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.”—Tim Z. Hernandez, author of Mañana Means Heaven

After Wopper Barraza’s fourth drunk driving violation, the judge orders his immediate deportation. “But I haven’t been there since I was a little kid,” says Wopper, whose parents brought him to California when he was three years old. Now he has to move back to Michoacán. When he learns that his longtime girlfriend is pregnant, the future looks even more uncertain. Wopper's story unfolds as life in a rural village takes him in new and unexpected directions.

This immigrant saga in reverse is a story of young people who must live with the reality of their parents’ dream. We know this story from the headlines, but up to now it has been unexplored literary territory.


Maceo Montoya is an assistant professor in the Chicana/o studies department at UC Davis and an affiliated faculty member of Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA), a community-based art center in Woodland, California.


“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.”



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


Los Angeles Magazine

“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

“A delightful, multidimensional foray into the immigration experience from both sides of the Mexican-American border.”


“(An) affecting new novel about the immigrant experience.”


Tucson Weekly

5.5 x 8.5 in. 224 pages