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Concepción and the Baby Brokers

And Other Stories Out of Guatemala

Concepción and the Baby Brokers

In nine thematically linked stories set largely in Guatemala, Concepción And The Baby Brokers brings to life characters struggling with universal emotions and dilemmas in a place unfamiliar to most Americans. From the close-knit community of Todos Santos to the teeming danger of Guatemala City, to a meat-packing plant in Michigan and the gardens of Washington DC, Deborah Clearman shows us the human cost of international adoption, drug trafficking, and immigration.

A Cup of Tears, the opening novella, reveals a third-world baby farm, seen through the eyes of a desperate wet nurse, a baby broker, and an American adoptive mother. In "The Race" a young man returns to his native village to ride in a disastrous horse race. "English Lessons" tells of a Guatemalan immigrant in Washington DC who learns more than English from a public library volunteer. A teenage girl tries to trap her professor into marriage in "Saints and Sinners."

With searing humanity, Clearman exposes the consequences of American exceptionalism, and the daily magic and peril that inform and shape ordinary lives.

Read Deborah's Q&A on Concepción and the Baby Brokers

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Rain Mountain Press, Paperback, March 2017, ISBN: 978-0996838450


“A collection of stories about hard choices borne of desperation and the stark delineations between classes in Both Guatemala and the United States.... Clearman offers the same photographic eye and acute vision of Guatemalan culture throughout.... stories of strength and ethical quandary.”

“In these vivid and often heart-wrenching stories, Deborah Clearman illuminates Guatemalan culture at ground level, through characters whose struggles are palpable and moving. The collection couldn’t be more timely, or necessary.”
   —Julie Salamon, bestselling author of Wendy and the Lost Boys

“With deep respect for Guatemalan culture, particularly its variations in the beautiful, haunted town of Todos Santos, Deborah Clearman gives us these lovely, captivating stories out of Guatemala. Hers is a voice worth hearing; these are stories worth reading.”
   —Mark Brazaitis, Julia & Rodrigo and The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala