The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Mexico

El viaje a la nada

(The journey into nothing)

Ruiz Islas, Alfredo (text)
México: Norma Ediciones, 2017. – 127 p.
(Series: Zona libre)
ISBN 978-607-230676-0

Central America  | Poverty  | Migration  | Son  | Father  | Search

Reading age: 11+

White Ravens issue: 2018


Being en route and waiting – both experiences of having not yet arrived – are two constants in this novella, which takes on one of the most burning political and social issues of our time. Though still a child, Olván, like countless other people, makes his way from Honduras northwards – like his father before him, who left the family to find a better life, and whom Olván is now searching for. The story begins in a registration and detention center for migrants in the northernmost part of Mexico. The following chapters alternately portray what befalls the boy in that inhospitable place and – through flashbacks – what he already experienced on his long, dangerous journey there. Though the book ends on a hopeful note, misery, mundane violence, and hopelessness stand at the centre. Using sober language, Alfredo Ruiz Islas casts an unsparing yet still empathic look on a desperate world, in which only the humanity of individuals offers small glimpses of light.