The Modern Library - the 200 best novels in English since 1950
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The Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle

A white rich liberal environmentalist accidentally runs down a poor Mexican illegal and doesn't report the accident. Chapters alternate between the ghastly rich and the simpatico poor with characteristic comic detail. While the natural disasters and the politics of this novel are Californian, the dramatic emotional truths and humanity of the message are universal.
T. Coraghessan Boyle was born in New York.

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The Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle