Novelist Peter Orner (The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo
) edits the third volume in McSweeney’s Voices of Witness series, an oral history collection of undocumented immigrants. No doubt they will never get the attention that cable TV blowhard and anti-immigration advocate Lou Dobbs garners, but this tome is a start. Orner writes in the book’s introduction
We cannot begin to understand the situation facing undocumented people in this country unless we start listening to them directly
. Although there is much pain in these stories, Underground America is not a compendium of suffering. This is a collection of voices. These narrators are neither uniformly saints or sinners.