National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
Into the Beautiful North

Into the Beautiful North

by Luis Alberto Urrea

…I always hopelessly, passionately, root for the underdog.


Luis Alberto Urrea. (Nicole Waite Photography)

The U.S.–Mexico border is not just a line on a map; it is a dream-like destination and departure point, surrounded by desperation and expectations. "No one writes more tragically or intimately about border culture than this son of a Mexican father and Anglo mother," journalist Bill Moyers said of Luis Alberto Urrea, author of numerous works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In his third novel, Into the Beautiful North, Urrea transcends the "us against them" discourse of immigration and writes with compassion, complexity, and humor about the people and places caught up in the border wars. Urrea invites us to think of the border as more than a stark divide between nations: he reminds us that it is a place of convergence where meaningful conversations, and even love, between cultures begins.

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