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JOHN MORT. The Illegal

TheIllegal

JOHN MORT. The Illegal. Southwest Missouri State University Press. Trade paperback, 207 pages, $15, www.semo.edu/universitypress/.

Life is hard in a strange country, but for an undocumented Mexican national trapped in the modern West it’s darned near impossible. That’s the situation in which Lieutenant Mario Oliveros finds himself in this sly, satirical novel that plumbs the wide divide between U.S. immigration policy and the American Dream. Mort, whose story “The Hog Whisperer” adapted from The Illegal won a 2013 Spur Award, has crafted a sympathetic and entertaining novel that has something important to say about one of the most divisive, and misunderstood, issues of our time.