All the Agents and Saints, Paperback Edition

Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands

Paperback Edition

By Stephanie Elizondo Griest

With a new preface by the author

320 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 3 maps

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-5924-4
    Published: February 2020
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6094-1
    Published: November 2019
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-5925-1
    Published: November 2019

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Awards & distinctions

Finalist, Best Nonfiction Political/Current Affairs Book Award, International Latino Book Awards

After a decade of chasing stories around the globe, intrepid travel writer Stephanie Elizondo Griest followed the magnetic pull home—only to discover that her native South Texas had been radically transformed in her absence. Ravaged by drug wars and barricaded by an eighteen-foot steel wall, her ancestral land had become the nation’s foremost crossing ground for undocumented workers, many of whom perished along the way. The frequency of these tragedies seemed like a terrible coincidence until Elizondo Griest moved to the New York–Canada borderlands. Once she began to meet Mohawks from the Akwesasne Nation, she recognized striking parallels to life on the southern border. Having lost their land through devious treaties, their mother tongues at English-only schools, and their traditional occupations through capitalist ventures, Tejanos and Mohawks alike struggle under the legacy of colonialism. Toxic industries surround their neighborhoods, while the U.S. Border Patrol militarizes them. Combating these forces are legions of artists and activists devoted to preserving their indigenous cultures. Complex belief systems, meanwhile, conjure miracles. In All the Agents and Saints, Elizondo Griest weaves seven years of stories into a meditation on the existential impact of international borderlines by illuminating the spaces in between and the people who live there. This edition features a new preface by the author.

About the Author

Stephanie Elizondo Griest is author of the award-winning memoirs Around the Bloc and Mexican Enough and associate professor of creative nonfiction at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Visit her website at

For more information about Stephanie Elizondo Griest, visit the Author Page.


“An exploration of the borderlands that deftly mixes memoir, groundbreaking sociology, deep reporting, and compelling writing. . . . Demonstrates unforgettably that national borders constitute much more than lines on a map.”--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Offers much more than just a very smart and companionable tour of the country’s ragged edges. It offers a model for how a curious person, any person who is sufficiently interested, can begin to navigate the boundaries that compartmentalize our country, and ourselves, toward wholeness.”--Brad Tyer, Texas Observer

“Elizondo Griest glimpses the modern immigrant experience through the lives of people who live in more than one culture. . . . Wrestles with profound questions of identity and belonging in a constantly shifting and increasingly unstable world.”--Publishers Weekly

“Some books that you read affect you emotionally because you insert yourself into the story and partially absorb the plotline. Other books can change your destiny […. ] Such is the work combining all of the above by Stephanie Elizondo Griest in All the Agents and Saints.” -–Charles Kader, Indian Country News Media

“A blazing, page-turning, groundbreaking, soul-illuminating book.”—Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States