Reyna Grande will be in conversation with Susan Muaddi Darraj.
When Reyna Grande was nine-years-old, she walked across the US–Mexico border in search of a home, desperate to be reunited with the parents who had left her behind years before for a better life in the City of Angels. What she found instead was an indifferent mother, an abusive, alcoholic father, and a school system that belittled her heritage.
With so few resources at her disposal, Reyna finds refuge in words, and it is her love of reading and writing that propels her to rise above until she achieves the impossible and is accepted to the University of California, Santa Cruz. Although her acceptance is a triumph, the actual experience of American college life is intimidating and unfamiliar for someone like Reyna, who is now once again estranged from her family and support system. Again, she finds solace in words, holding fast to her vision of becoming a writer, only to discover she knows nothing about what it takes to make a career out of a dream.
Reyna Grande is the recipient of the 2015 Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. She is the author of two award-winning novels. Her first memoir, The Distance Between Us was a 2012 National Book Critics Circle Awards Finalist and has been selected by numerous city-wide read programs, including One Maryland One Book in 2014.
Susan Muaddi Darraj is Associate Professor of English at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland. A 2018 USA Ford Fellow, Susan is also a Lecturer in the Johns Hopkins University’s MA in Writing program and a faculty member in Fairfield University‘s MFA program. Her short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, won the 2016 Arab American Book Award, a 2016 American Book Award, and was shortlisted for a Palestine Book Award.
Presented in partnership with Maryland Humanities.
The Ivy Bookshop will have copies of the book for sale at a book signing following the program.
Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by a bequest from The Miss Howard Hubbard Adult Programming Fund.
Saturday, October 13 at 11:30am
Light Street Branch
1251 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230