Mendocino College welcomes award winning author, Reyna Grande, Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at the Ukiah Campus. The author will share her experiences as a writer, Mexican immigrant and writing instructor. All are welcome to join us for a special reception from 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Lowery Student Center followed by a reading by the author and question/answer session from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the Little Theater. This event is free and open to the public.
Reyna Grande is an award-winning novelist and memoirist. She has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award. In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards, and in 2015 she was honored with a Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. Her works have been published internationally in countries such as Norway and South Korea.
Her novels, Across a Hundred Mountains, (Atria, 2006) and Dancing with Butterflies (Washington Square Press, 2009) were published to critical acclaim and have been read widely in schools across the country. In her latest book, The Distance Between Us, (Atria, 2012) Reyna writes about her life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to the United States. An inspirational coming-of-age story about the pursuit of a better life, The Distance Between Us is now available as a young readers edition from Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Division–Aladdin.
Reyna was two years old when her father left for the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north two years later, leaving Reyna and her siblings behind in Mexico. In 1985, when Reyna was going on ten, she left Iguala to make her own journey north. She entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant, and later went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college.
After attending Pasadena City College for two years, Reyna obtained a B.A. in creative writing and film & video from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She later received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University. Now, in addition to being a published author, she is also a sought-after speaker at high schools, colleges, and universities across the nation.