Reyna Grande is an award-winning
novelist and memoirist. She has received an American Book Award,
the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the Latino Book Award.
In 2012, she was a finalist for the prestigious National Book
Critics Circle Awards. Her works have been published
internationally in countries such as Norway and South Korea.
Her novels, Across a Hundred Mountains, (Atria, 2006) and
Dancing with Butterflies (Washington Square Press, 2009)
were published to critical acclaim and have been read widely in
schools across the country. Her latest book, The Distance
Between Us, was published in August 2012, by Atria Books, an
imprint of Simon & Schuster. In this memoir, Reyna writes about
her life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to
the United States. A National Book Circle Critics Award
finalist, The Distance Between Us is an inspirational
coming-of-age story about the pursuit of a better life. The Los
Angeles Times hailed it as ‘the Angela’s Ashes of the
modern Mexican immigrant experience.”
Born in Mexico, Reyna was two years old when her father left for
the U.S. to find work. Her mother followed her father north two
years later, leaving Reyna and her siblings behind in Mexico. In
1985, when Reyna was going on ten, she entered the U.S. as an
undocumented immigrant. She later went on to become the first
person in her family to graduate from college.
After attending Pasadena City College for two years, Reyna
obtained a B.A. in creative writing and film & video from the
University of California, Santa Cruz. She later received her
M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University. Now, in
addition to being a published author, she is also an active
promoter of Latino literature and is a sought-after speaker at
high schools, colleges, and universities across the nation.
Currently Reyna teaches creative writing at UCLA Extension and
is at work on her next novel.