Luis Alberto Urrea

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General Information

Urrea Luis Alberto.jpg
Name: Luis Alberto Urrea

Pen Name: None

Genres: Fiction, Non-Fiction

Born: 1955 Tijuana, Mexico



Photo Credit: Nicole Waite

Illinois Connection

Urrea lives in Naperville, Illinois and is a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Luis Alberto Urrea is the bestselling author of The Devil's Highway, The Hummingbird's Daughter, Into the Beautiful North, and Queen of America, among others. He has won the Lannan Literary Award, the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize, an American Book Award, the Christopher Award, and an Edgar Award, among other honors.

Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, he lives outside of Chicago and is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago. A member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, he is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph.

Published Works

  • Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border, Anchor Books, 1993
  • In Search of Snow, Harper Collins, 1994
  • The Fever of Being, West End, 1994
  • By the Lake of Sleeping Children: The Secret Life of the Mexican Border, Anchor Books, 1996
  • Ghost Sickness, Cinco Puntos Press, 1997
  • Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life, University of Arizona Press, 1998
  • Wandering Time: Western Notebooks, University of Arizona Press, 1999
  • Six Kinds of Sky: A Collection of Short Fiction, Cinco Puntos Press, 2002
  • The Devil's Highway, Little, Brown and Company, 2004
  • The Hummingbird's Daughter, Little, Brown and Company, 2005
  • Into the Beautiful North, Little, Brown and Company, 2009
  • Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush, Cinco Puntos Press, 2010
  • Queen of America, Little, Brown and Company, 2011
  • The Water Museum, Little Brown and Company, 2015

Titles at Your Library

Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border

ISBN: 0385425309
Release Date: 1993-01-02

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In Search of Snow (Camino del Sol)

ISBN: 0816520151
Release Date: 1999-11-01

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Wandering Time: Western Notebooks (Camino del Sol)

ISBN: 0816518661
Release Date: 1999-01-01

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The Devil's Highway: A True Story

ISBN: 0316010804
Release Date: 2004

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The Hummingbird's Daughter

ISBN: 0316154520
Release Date: 2006-04-03

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The Water Museum: Stories

ISBN: 0316334375
Release Date: 2015-04-07

Find on World Cat

Literary Awards

Across the Wire

  • Notable Book of the Year Award, New York Times

The Devil's Highway

  • Finalist, Pulitzer Prize
  • Montclar Book, Montclair State University, 2013
  • All-Freshman Read, University of Texas-San Antonio

The Hummingbird's Daughter

  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2013

Into the Beautiful North

  • Big Read Book, NEA

Ghost Sickness

  • Poetry from Western States Book Award

The Water Museum

  • Starred Review, Kirkus
  • Finalist, PEN/Faulkner Award
  • Notable Book of the Year, Washington Post
  • Best Books of the Year, Kirkus
  • Best Books of the Year, NPR
  • Best Books of the Year, Men's Journal

Body of Work

  • Lannan Literary Award
  • American Book Award
  • Western States Book Award
  • Colorado Book Award
  • Latino Literary Hall of Fame
  • Christopher Award
  • Kiriyama Prize
  • Hispanic Cultural Center's Literary Award
  • Edgar Award
  • American Library Association Citation of Excellence
  • LAS Distinguished Professor

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

Please contact: Trinity J. Ray, at

External Links

Luis Alberto Urrea on WorldCat


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