Reyna Grande: A Dream Called Home, Tuesday, October 2, 2018, Peace United Church (900 High Street, Santa Cruz)

November 16, 2017

By , Director, Research Center for the Americas 

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Join us to welcome UC Santa Cruz alumna, Reyna Grande. Grande will discuss her new memoir A Dream Called Home, in conversation with Micah Perks (Professor of Literature at UC Santa Cruz). The event will be held at Peace United Church in Santa Cruz on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. The event begins at 7:00 p.m. following a reception at 6:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. 

A Dream Called Home will be available for purchase at the event. The Bookshop Santa Cruz is also accepting book preorders online. Listen to Reyna Grande's interview on KZSC's Voces Críticas (88.1FM). 

A DREAM CALLED HOME is Reyna Grande’s lyrical and moving follow-up to The Distance Between Us. The memoir tells the story of her pursuit to become the first in her family to earn a college degree and to find her place in her adoptive country. At UC, Santa Cruz on her own for the first time, Grande faced new struggles and was forced to forge ahead toward her dreams in spite of the estrangement from her family and alienation from her new community. She vividly describes her initial feeling of foreignness among her largely white classmates and how she found the beginning of a sense of connection to UCSC upon joining an on-campus rally protesting Prop 209, abolishing affirmative action. She expresses her frustration over the difficulty in getting some of her professors to take her writing seriously, as well as her gratitude to others who encouraged her to write about the country of her birth. She discovered that writing about the people she knew—describing their plight—was how she could honor their difficult experiences and keep them in her heart. She also delves into the important life lessons she learned by taking in her challenging younger sister and from the group of friends who helped her embrace both her Mexican and American heritage.

Reyna Grande is the recipient of the 2015 Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. Her first novel, Across a Hundred Mountains (Atria, 2006), received a 2006 El Premio Aztlan Literary Award, a 2007 American Book Award, and a 2010 Latino Books Into Movies Award. Her second novel, Dancing with Butterflies (Washington Square Press, 2009) was critically acclaimed and was the recipient of a 2010 International Latino Book Award, Best Women’s Issues, and a 2010 Las Comadres & Friends National Latino Book Club Selection. She was also a 2003 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. The Distance Between Us was a 2012 National Book Critics Circle Awards Finalist and has been selected by numerous city-wide read programs, including Rochester Reads 2018, MacReads 2018, One Book/One Michiana 2018, All Henrico Reads 2018, Timberland Reads Together 2017, Telluride One Book/One Canyon 2017, Estes Park One Book/One Valley 2017, Saginaw One Book/One Community 2016, Camarillo Reads 2016, Roswell Reads 2015, and One Maryland/One Book 2014, among others. To learn more about Reyna Grande and her work, visit

This event is sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz, The Humanities InstituteFirst Generation Initiative, Kresge College, and the Research Center for the Americas.

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