- Albert Camus, author of The Stranger, said that “fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” Broken Windows is the fiction, set in the 1990s, through which we can see the immigration debate tearing up the country today via a mystery-thriller novel.
- The more things change, the more they stay the same: Though Broken Windows is set during the notorious Proposition 187 controversy in 1990s California, it’s a forerunner of what’s happening today vis a vis immigration and the contentiousness of the issue. And the novel is a prism through which to view what’s happening today.
- The title, Broken Windows, comes from the Broken Windows theory. But it’s also why Duke, the main character, gets involved with the case of Marisol, an undocumented worker, and her murdered brother, because, as he says, “I believed in the ‘broken windows’ theory, which says that if you replace the broken windows in your neighborhood there will be less crime overall. The murder of Marisol’s brother Carlos was a broken window that needed fixing.”
- Is fiction the place to talk about to talk about serious things such as the contentious immigration is, even in the form of a mystery-thriller like Broken Windows, or should it be pure escapist entertainment?
- In Broken Windows, Duke and his partner Jack lock horns with everyone from church, state (Democrats and Republicans) and business on the immigration issue. Everyone has their vested interests in the subject, just as they do in real life. Is truth stranger than fiction or is fiction the prism we use to look at reality?
- The immigration issue is contentious, can you or how do you stay friends with people on the other side?