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Pulitzer Finalist Final Visit Writer


Mexican-born author Luis Alberto Urrea will read from his works at the season finale of the Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series on Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in the Wood Center Ballroom on the UAF campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Urrea is the author of 14 books, including "The Devil's Highway," a Pulitzer Prize finalist. His work has earned him an Edgar Award and a Lannan Literary Award and has been chosen by over 30 One Book community read programs across the nation. He is a master of language and a gifted storyteller 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 grew up in San Diego, Calif. Like many great writers, Urrea got his start in literature writing poems to impress girls in junior high school. His early heroes were all rock stars, but, not being especially musically gifted, Urrea chose to follow in the steps of his literary role models. A fanatical hunger for reading pushed him over the edge at the age of 13. "I just had to do what my heroes were doing," he has said.

As a young man, Urrea served as a relief worker among people living in the Tijuana garbage dumps prior to receiving a teaching fellowship to Harvard University. "The border" has defined his life and colored much of his writing. He once said "the border is simply a metaphor that makes it easier for me to write about the things that separate people all over the world, even when they think there is no fence."

The Midnight Sun Visiting Writers Series is hosted by the UAF English Department and is sponsored by Jim Perrizo, Peggy Shumaker and Joe Usibelli, and Alaska Airlines.

Additional information is available by calling the UAF English Department at 907-474-7193.

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