By Becca Kraybill
Luis Urrea, a Mexican-American poet, author and novelist, will speak in convocation this Monday, Oct. 15.
Urrea has authored 14 books, including mysteries, historical novels and non-fiction narratives. Urrea, who was born to a Mexican father and an American mother, often writes on issues of love and loss through a dual-culture perspective.
Last spring, students in Ann Hostetler’s Latino Literature class read Urrea’s “The Devil’s Highway,” a 2005 Pulitzer finalist in non-fiction writing. The novel follows 26 Mexican men as they travel through the Arizona dessert. The men encounter heat, Border Patrol and for some, death.
Steph Swartzendruber, a senior, was a member of the class.
“[The Devil’s Highway] was a very well-written book,” Swartzendruber said. “It made the border-crossing experience feel very real.”
The symbol of a border has defined both Urrea’s life and writing, according to a public relations release.
“The border is simply a metaphor that makes it easier for me to write about the things that separate people all over the world,” wrote Urrea, “even when they think there is no fence.”
Urrea’s visit will be sponsored by the English department and Center for Intercultural and International Teaching and Learning. The convocation will be held at 10 a.m. in the Church Chapel. A reception, including a question and answer time, will follow the convocation.