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Into the Beautiful North: Author Profile

The Common book

Luis Alberto Urrea

photo of author, Luis Alberto Urrea

Author Bio

Luis Alberto Urrea, 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. 

Born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother, Urrea has published extensively in all major genres. The critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 13 books, Urrea has won numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. 

When Urrea was five, his family moved across the border to San Diego, where he attended high-school.He attended the University of California at San Diego, earning an undergraduate degree in writing, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. 

After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, Urrea moved to Boston where he taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard. He has also taught at Massachusetts Bay Community College and the University of Colorado and he was the writer in residence at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, IL, where he is a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

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