Writing on the Edge: A Borderland Reader

By Tom Miller


I’ve gotten to know the author over the years based on a shared appreciation of iconic writer Moritz Thomsen, whom Tom met in Ecuador. He accompanied me to the University of Arizona Library, which acquired his archives, including six boxes of materials on Thomsen that I used to research and write several articles. With Tom’s help, I’d write my anthology, Moritz Thomsen: The Greatest American Writer Nobody Knows About.

Tom and I also share a love of travel and travel writing. His best-known book, The Panama Hat Trail, is one of my all-time favorites, and I was impressed to learn that he’d traveled twice to Ecuador in eight months to complete it. My wife, who is Guatemalan, loved another of his many books, How I Learned English, a series of stories of Latinos learning English.

I picked up a copy of this book at a recent signing in Tucson of his memoir, Where Was I: A Travel Writer’s Memoir.  Writing on the Edge seemed even more timely as asylum seekers were being bussed and flown to places like Martha’s Vineyard and New York City, and the end of Title 42 under Trump, which politicized and endangered migrants and undermined the right to asylum. 


Book reviewed by Mark D. Walker
United States