Luís Alberto Urrea’s Into the Beautiful North is Irving’s 8th Big Read selected title. Through this rich and colorful story about the experiences of four Mexican characters that cross the border into the United States, Urrea invites readers to consider the border as far more than a dividing line between two countries, showing it to be a meeting place for meaningful discourse and a convergence of cultures.

Luis Alberto Urrea is prolific and award-winning writer, a master storyteller who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. Urrea is the author of 14 books and is a Latino Literature Hall of Fame inductee. He graduated from the University of California, taught at Harvard, Massachusetts Bay Community College, and the University of Colorado. Urrea currently serves as a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The Big Read brings together partners from across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and knowledge.
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