Translated by Andrea Rosenberg, this is the story of Liborio, a young man who migrates illegally to “the promised land”, America, for a better life. Xilonen, the 19-year-old writer, said the book was partly inspired by the stories of his grandfather who himself was an immigrant...
— Reader's digest, Oct 2 2017
This debut novel by young Mexican author Aura Xilonen is written from the perspective of an illegal immigrant lives in a border town straddling the US and Mexico who becomes a champion boxer. Written in “Spanglish”, the sucker-punch filled story offers a torn reflection...
— iNews, Sep 13 2017
Those familiar with Campeon gabacho in Aura Xilonen’s original Spanish note its baroque style: Liborio, the teenage street-fighter narrator who at the novel’s beginning works in a Spanish-language bookshop, eats a dictionary to understand poetry and spits out his words most...
— The Globe and Mail, Jun 2 2017
The Gringo Champion is a “wetback” who earns his title by beating all odds. After crossing the Rio Grande into an American border town, Liborio is rescued by migrants, naked and blistered. He lives and works with them until they’re nearly caught by immigration officials.
— Independent Publisher, May 23 2017
In writing The Gringo Champion, Xilonen essentially created a new language (‘ingeñol’ as some reviewers have named it) that represents the imbricated border culture, and when faced with the task of translating, requested that her translators do the same.
— The Rumpus, May 19 2017
There is something truly wonderful going on in the pages of The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen which I cannot do justice here, but which thankfully Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado does in his lucid explication of this expertly and imaginatively translated by Andrea Rosenberg. Sanchez...
— Identity Theory, May 6 2017
Aura Xilonen wrote her debut novel The Gringo Champion (Campeón Gabacho) at age nineteen. The book tells the story of a young Mexican boy, Liborio, who crosses the border into the United States undocumented. Among anxiety-inducing episodes, violence, and an insane amount of...
— Electric Lit, Mar 28 2017
Punches, profanity and streams of offbeat argot fly from the first page of this idiosyncratic debut novel about a Mexican immigrant living on the edge of the survival in an unnamed American city. Maybe 17 and "skinny as a shoelace," Liborio has suffered enough hardship for several...
— The New York Times, Feb 16 2017
In its verbal richness, its humanity, its loving empathy, and its unapologetic depiction of the everyday violence to which migrants are subject, The Gringo Champion is probably one of the most significant novels in translation published in the United States in recent years.
— Los Angeles Review of Books, Feb 15 2017
The award-winning debut novel by 19 year-old Mexican novelist, The Gringo Champion tells the story of Liborio, a young man who immigrates illegally from Mexico to the US to escape a violent and, as he sees it, hopeless existence.
— LitHub, Jan 13 2017
The Gringo Champion, Aura Xilonen, trans. by Andrea Rosenberg The story of Liberio, a boxer and undocumented immigrant who came from Mexico across the Rio Brava to the United States, is a “fantastic, magnificent, spectacular debut,” says Booklist.