Contraband of Hoopoe explores issues of dislocation, immigration and desire. Chrusciel invents a poetics of smuggling as she crosses national, historical and linguistic borders. The migratory narrative is distinctly errant, haunted by a childhood lived under a Communist regime, by the austerity of Eastern block politics, and by the possibility of discovering a fleeting language to carry the seeds of illicit revelation, spiritual transformation, and insight. The book elevates smuggling to a noble art, recording how the Jewish people were hidden and transported during the Holocaust. Chrusciel tracks a series of historical objects and secret messages that immigrants throughout history have been sneaking through customs, past border checkpoints, and across the seas.