Grande, Reyna 1975-
Grande, Reyna 1975-
Born September 7, 1975, in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico; immigrated to the United States, 1985; children: Nathaniel. Ethnicity: Mexican American. Education: Attended Pasadena City College; University of California—Santa Cruz, B.A., 1999. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, making jewelry, reading, playing Scrabble, and crossword puzzles.
Writer, 1997—. Adult school ESL teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District, 2000—.
Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellowship, Pen Center USA, 2003.
Across a Hundred Mountains: A Novel, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Also author of Under the Guamuchil Tree (short stories), 1997.
Mexican-American writer Reyna Grande's Across a Hundred Mountains: A Novel is based on events in her own life. Like the author, Grande's protagonist Juana is left home in Mexico while her father travels to the United States, hoping to create a better life for his family and escape the grinding poverty of their Mexican homeland. But his absence proves devastating to his family, especially when it stretches from months into years. "Juana and her mother's lives change drastically as they suddenly find themselves alone, struggling to survive," Grande explained in an article posted on her Web site. "It is through Juana that the reader gets to live the other side of the ‘immigrant experience.’" Eventually Juana's situation becomes so bad that she heads north to find her father. She encounters on the way another refugee, a girl named Adelina, who has been forced to work as a prostitute in Tijuana, but who hopes to find shelter from her boyfriend in the United States. Across a Hundred Mountains, wrote Daniel A. Olivas in the El Paso Times, "is a beautifully rendered novel that maintains its power throughout because Reyna Grande keeps control over her language and does not feel a need to trumpet emotionally volatile scenes of alcohol and drug abuse, rape, poverty and infant mortality. This is a breathtaking debut."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Daily News, August 16, 2006, Rick Coca, review of Across a Hundred Mountains: A Novel.
El Paso Times, April 16, 2006, Daniel A. Olivas, "Not So Alien after All: Timely Novel Gives Human Face to Immigration."
Entertainment Weekly, June 23, 2006, Jennifer Reese, review of Across a Hundred Mountains, p. 73.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2006, review of Across a Hundred Mountains, p. 426.
Now (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), August 10-16, 2006, Leslie McAllister, "Alien Nation."
People, July 24, 2006, Caroline Leavitt, Porter Shreve, and Josh Emmons, review of Across a Hundred Mountains, p. 43.
Publishers Weekly, April 3, 2006, review of Across a Hundred Mountains, p. 38.
San Antonio Express-News, November 28, 2006, Yvette Benavides, "Novel Tracks a Family Split by Immigration."
California Authors.com,http://www.californiaauthors.com/ (November 28, 2006), Reyna Grande, "In First Person: Living the American Dream."
Reyna Grande's Home Page,http://www.reynagrande.com (November 28, 2006), Linda L. Miller, author biography.