Luis Alberto Urrea in conversation with Michael Chibnik: An NEA Big Read Event

June 16, 2021 - 7:00pm
Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

Please join us for a virtual reading and discssion with Luis Alberto Urrea of his book, Into the Beautiful North as a part of the NEA Big Read Series. The conversation will be moderated by Professor Emeritus at the University of Iowa, Michael Chibnik.

To join this virtual event, register here.

The NEA Big Read Program aims to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the jou of sharing a good book. Showcasing a diverse range of themes, voices, and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation about discovery.

National Public Radio hailed Luis Alberto Urrea as a "literary badass" and "master storyteller with a rock and roll heart." The Denver Press says, “Urrea uses a breathtaking Mexican magical realism to construct a shimmering portrait of the United States.”

Luis Alberto Urrea is a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame and a best-selling author of 17 books. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea is most recognized as a border writer, though he says, “I am more interested in bridges, not borders.” Into the Beautiful North, his 2009 a novel, has been chosen by more than 50 different cities and colleges as a community read. The Devil’s Highway, Urrea’s 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. The Hummingbird’s Daughter, his 2005 historical novel, won the Kiriyama Prize in fiction. His newest book, The House of Broken Angels, is a novel of an American family, which happens to be from Mexico. Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, IL, where he is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

He will be joined in conversation by Michael Chibnik, Professor Emeritus at the University of Iowa. He was the guest curator of a large exhibit of Oaxacan wood carvings at the University of Iowa Museum of Art in 2005 and 2006. His most recent book, Scholarship, Money, and Prose: Behind the Scenes at an Academic Journal was published in 2020 by University of Pennsylvania Press.