From bestselling author of the remarkable memoir, The Distance Between Us comes an inspiring account of one woman’s quest to find her place in America as a first-generation Latina university student and aspiring writer determined to build a new life for her family one fearless word at a time. “Here is a life story so unbelievable, it could only be true” (Sandra Cisneros, bestselling author of The House on Mango Street).
As an immigrant in an unfamiliar country, with an indifferent mother and abusive father, Reyna had few resources at her disposal. Taking refuge in words, Reyna’s love of reading and writing propels her to rise above until she achieves the impossible and is accepted to the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Although her acceptance is a triumph, the actual experience of American college life is intimidating and unfamiliar for someone like Reyna, who is now estranged from her family and support system. Again, she finds solace in words, holding fast to her vision of becoming a writer, only to discover she knows nothing about what it takes to make a career out of a dream.
Through it all, Reyna is determined to make the impossible possible, going from undocumented immigrant of little means to “a fierce, smart, shimmering light of a writer” (Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild); a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist whose “power is growing with every book” (Luis Alberto Urrea, Pultizer Prize finalist); and a proud mother of two beautiful children who will never have to know the pain of poverty and neglect.
Told in Reyna’s exquisite, heartfelt prose, A Dream Called Home demonstrates how, by daring to pursue her dreams, Reyna was able to build the one thing she had always longed for: a home that would endure.
Novelist Grande (The Distance Between Us) writes with strength and passion of her life's journey from her birth in a shack in the poverty-stricken Mexican town of Iguala, to success as an author in the U.S. The memoir opens with Grande leaving Los Angeles to attend UC Santa Cruz at age 21, on her way to becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree; her parents, both naturalized citizens, were not educated beyond elementary school. Grande then recounts her difficult childhood: her parents divorced and left her with her grandmother in Mexico; at age nine, after two failed attempts, Grande made it across the border with the aid of her father, who returned from the U.S. to help her and two older siblings get to L.A. She worked hard in school, graduated with honors from college, and landed a teaching job in L.A. Grande explores the complicated relationships of her uprooted family, dissecting a history of abuse (her grandmother verbally and physically abused her mother, who in turned abused Grande and her siblings) and vowing to break the cycle. After winning a PEN fellowship, marrying, and publishing her first novel, Grande discovered that writing her story could help her make sense of her troubled past and gain the courage to create a stable life for herself and her new family. This uplifting story of fortitude and resilience looks deeply into the complexities of immigration and one woman's struggle to adapt and thrive in America.