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Simon Apter

Simon Maxwell Apter is the online editor at Lapham’s Quarterly. He is a regular reviewer for NPR’s Books We Like department, and his commentary and criticism have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, the Nation, the Guardian, the American Prospect, and other publications. A former bread baker from Corvallis, Oregon, he currently lives in Brooklyn.


The Mule

Fall 2009 | Essays

The first run, from Tampa to McAllen to Greensboro, was a bit of a lark. Maria was living in Tampa, and she was bored. So when a friend, someone she knew to be a Mexican drug cartel–affiliated smuggler, appeared at her door with a business proposition, she leapt at the opportunity. He said to her and her friend, “You girls want to make about $5,000 for driving for us for a few hours?”