On January 28, 1917, a women-led riot broke out on the Santa Fe Street Bridge between Juárez and El Paso. The El Paso press blamed the disturbance on a supposedly hysterical, misinformed “feminine mob,” but harsh new disinfecting policies at the border were the final tipping point for a broader conflict that had been festering below the surface for years. Near Riot is a fictional interpretation of historical accounts outlining the clashes and tension at the border in the early twentieth century. Through the lens of sixteen distinct protagonists, this episodic novel explores the disease, military intervention, racism, colorism, and classism that created the environment where a seventeen-year-old maid named Carmelita Torres pushed back and incited others to follow. Though the different characters’ stories are complete in isolation, they intersect in surprising ways to reveal that individual actions have collective consequences.
González, Miranda Divett, "Near Riot" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI27668440.