April 21, 2016 - 7:00pm
Prairie Lights

University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program graduate José Orduña will read from his new memoir, The Weight of Shadows.

Tracing his story of becoming a US citizen, Orduña’s memoir explores the complex issues of immigration and assimilation in a post-9/11 United States. A trenchant exploration of race, class, and identity, The Weight of Shadows is a searing meditation on the nature of political, linguistic, and cultural borders, and explores the meaning of being American.

The Weight of Shadows violates in a most exciting way a number of literary borders: The political essay is enclosed within a novel; tough political observation is enlivened suddenly by a rush of metaphor or lush detail from the poet’s eye; finally humor and pathos meet on the page without papers. Here is an exuberant, outlaw literary style that exactly matches the many ironies of being and not quite ever being a North American.” — Richard Rodriguez

José Orduña was born in Cordoba, Veracruz, and immigrated to Chicago when he was two. He lives in Iowa City.