The Suitcases of San León Published By Day One

Near midnight, an empty bus pulls into the town of San León. As the depot workers clean the bus, they find evidence of the passengers’ presence—the urine-soaked seats, the human remains, the luggage that, along with the passengers themselves, will never make it to their final destinations. Though the driver offers no explanation, the workers understand that the disappearance of the travelers is linked to the drug-cartel war that’s happening in and around the town. Now the men, tasked with disposing of the suitcases, are faced with a terrible decision: Should they protect themselves through silence or speak up and risk their own lives and the lives of their loved ones? Haunting and honest, The Suitcases of San León is a story of doomed choices and complicity in a time of unpredictability and violence.

Click here to read the story. It can be downloaded on any Kindle or Kindle App available on Apple or Android operating systems for mobile phones and tablets.

Illustration for Day One by Michael Hirshon. Find his wonderful illustrations here.

Praise for The Suitcases of San León

“A harrowing, haunting story by an original new voice.”

Jennifer DuBois, author of Cartwheel and A Partial History of Lost Causes

“Jane Hawley’s The Suitcases of San León is one of the finest and most haunting stories I’ve read in recent years. After a busload of passengers disappears in the war zone of Northern Mexico, the humble workers at the San León bus depot must confront their own place in the world the drug cartels have created. Guilt, complicity, remorse—none of the usual neat categories seems to capture the essence of their situation. ‘Numbers shouldn’t be used to represent death,’ one of the workers says. ‘One is most certainly not one. The higher the numbers get, the more we forget what life means.’ Certain truths we know in our brains, but it takes the best writers to make us experience those truths in our bones. With The Suitcases of San León, Jane Hawley shows she’s one of those writers.”

Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and Brief Encounters with Che Guevara