In “Scorched,” published in print and online by Pacific Standard, Lauren Markham recounts the harrowing saga of a young woman and her daughter who make the trek across the U.S. border to flee political unrest in Honduras. They were caught by immigration authorities and detained for several days. Even after Clara (not her real name) reunites with her husband in California, the family is haunted by a lack of work due to the drought.
Markham brings a razor-sharp focus to the people in this tightly written saga. The narrative approach is particularly powerful, since whether it’s immigration or drought, the human toll can often be forgotten and the personal stories lost amid the larger political and cultural debates. In this piece, however, the issues Clara faces are anything but abstract.
Markham made a number of media appearances to discuss this piece, most notably on Southern California Public Radio KPCC’s Take Two.