Luis Alberto Urrea biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Luis Alberto Urrea
photo: Joe Mazza Brave-Lux

Luis Alberto Urrea

How to pronounce Luis Alberto Urrea: oo-Ray-ah

Luis Alberto Urrea Biography

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his landmark work of nonficiton The Devil's Highway, Luis Alberto Urrea is also the bestselling author of the novels The Hummingbird's Daughter, Into the Beautiful North, and Queen of America, as well as the story collections The Water Museum, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. He has won the Lannan Literary Award, an Edgar Award, and a 2017 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among many other honors. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, he lives outside of Chicago and teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Luis Alberto Urrea's website

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Interview

Luis Alberto Urrea talks about his writing and in particular his 2018 novel The House of Broken Angels

You have written some extraordinary books, both fiction and nonfiction, about the Mexican-American experience, but The House of Broken Angels seems to be your most personal work in capturing multicultural family life in modern America.

You are dead-on. Sometimes you feel like you're writing with your own blood and sometimes, as Jim Harrison told me, God hands you your novel. The way in which my big brother died two years ago was very much reflected in the process of mortality in The House of Broken Angels. What struck me at the time was how much a celebration of one man's life it was. How a single working-class dad changed the world in his own small way. And, of course, that "small way" was in every way epic. So the novel is a hymn to our daily lives, how sacred they truly are. Finally, the tone of the recent presidential election made me know I had to speak up for the de La Cruz family.

The interplay between "Big Angel" de La Cruz and his half-brother "Little Angel" is so funny and heartwarming. Little Angel is half-gringo, and this lends itself to an examination of white culture versus Latinx culture. Is this tension between the two cultures something you experience in your own life, and, if so, how do you navigate it ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Luis Alberto Urrea at BookBrowse
The House of Broken Angels jacket The Water Museum jacket Queen of America jacket Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Luis Alberto Urrea but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Margaret Cezair-Thompson

    Margaret Cezair-Thompson

    Margaret Cezair-Thompson was born in Jamaica, West Indies; she attended St Andrews High School for Girls, a long-established government-subsidized school that has produced many of Jamaican's most prominent women.  ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Hummingbird's Daughter

    Try:
    The Pirate's Daughter
    by Margaret Cezair-Thompson

  • Megan Chance

    Megan Chance

    Megan Chance is the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of several novels. Her novel, The Spiritualist was chosen as one of Borders Original Voices, and An Inconvenient Wife was a Booksense pick. The Best Reviews has ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Hummingbird's Daughter

    Try:
    Bone River
    by Megan Chance

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Editor's Choice

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Book Discussion
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A captivating thriller-at-sea set in Spanish colonial Havana in the 1860s.

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