Books by Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea is the recipient of an American Book Award, a Western States Book Award, and a Colorado Book Award, and he has been inducted into the Latino Literary Hall of Fame.


QUEEN OF AMERICA by Luis Alberto Urrea
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 7, 2011

"Mixing religious mysticism, a panoramic view of history, a Dickensian cast of minor characters, low comedy and political breast-beating, Urrea's sprawling yet minutely detailed saga both awes and exhausts. "
In his sequel to The Hummingbird's Daughter (2005), Urrea continues the mythic history of his great aunt Teresita as she begins a new life in the United States after escaping her political and religious enemies in Mexico in 1893. Read full book review >
MR. MENDOZA’S PAINTBRUSH by Luis Alberto Urrea
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2010

"An enchanting exploration of life's myriad mysteries. (Graphic fiction. 13 & up)"
The residents of the small Mexican town of El Rosario don't quite know what to make of Mr. Mendoza and his omnipresent paintbrush. Read full book review >
INTO THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH by Luis Alberto Urrea
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 19, 2009

"Minor work from a writer who has done much better."
Three Mexican señoritas cross the border with a gay escort in this good-humored road novel from Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter, 2005, etc.). Read full book review >
THE HUMMINGBIRD’S DAUGHTER by Luis Alberto Urrea
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 17, 2005

"Only at the end does Urrea fully evoke Teresita's incandescent spiritual power—in a second novel (after In Search of Snow, 1994) that, otherwise, is a mildly engaging look at life on a prerevolutionary Mexican ranch, with amusingly irreverent touches."
The making of a young medicine woman in 19th-century Mexico. Urrea, a Mexican-American best known for his prizewinning nonfiction (The Devil's Highway, 2004, etc.), has based his leisurely account on the life of an ancestor. Read full book review >
THE DEVIL’S HIGHWAY by Luis Alberto Urrea
HISTORY
Released: April 2, 2004

"A horrendous story told with bitter skill, highlighting the whole sordid, greedy mess that attends illegal broader crossings."
The rueful, fate-wracked tale of 26 men who tried to cross into the US from Mexico but chose the wrong time, place, and guide. Read full book review >
WANDERING TIME by Luis Alberto Urrea
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 5, 1999

"A disappointing exercise, Urrea's journals lack the narrative focus and emotional power to keep pulling the reader through his countless tangents."
A disjointed, gushing collection of musings on and descriptions of a yearlong road trip cum walking tour of Rocky Mountain National Park. Read full book review >
NOBODY'S SON by Luis Alberto Urrea
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 25, 1998

"Lacking narrative drive and depth, Urrea's book is not quite a memoir, but the fragmented notes that compose these essays are often moving nonetheless."
In a memoir traversing some of the autobiographical territory covered in his previous books, poet and novelist Urrea (By the Lake of Sleeping Children, 1996; Across the Wire, 1993, etc.) delivers the last installment of his self-styled "border trilogy." Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Written in no small part as a response to California's Proposition 187 and the false hopes stirred by NAFTA, the book is a stinging and impassioned answer to the anti-immigration wave cresting in American politics today."
 Urrea returns to the setting of his well-received first book, Across the Wire (not reviewed), for another look at the impact of NAFTA on the lives of those who live in the direst poverty on the US-Mexico border. Read full book review >
IN SEARCH OF SNOW by Luis Alberto Urrea
Released: April 13, 1994

"There's plenty going on here; what's lacking is a narrative frame."
 Urrea, whose collection of nonfiction vignettes about Mexicans living near the California border (Across the Wire, 1993) appeared last year, here fictionalizes similar material with uneven results. Read full book review >
ACROSS THE WIRE by Luis Alberto Urrea
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 1, 1993

"Descriptive writing here sometimes reveals more than it feels decent to know, but Urrea's recognition of intact humanity—along with his accounts of kindness and generosity—gives this nightmarish tour its redeeming affection and hope. (Photographs.)"
 Tijuana-born Urrea calls lice, scabies, typhoid, etc., the ``many ambassadors of poverty''; his vignettes of borderland misery (most appeared previously in the San Diego Reader) are like a series of painful and shocking introductions at a demonic embassy party. Read full book review >