The Author

About Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea is an acclaimed Mexican-American writer and a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. Born in Tijuana, Urrea is a best-selling author of 13 books and recipient of numerous awards. Notable titles include Into the Beautiful North, The Devil’s Highway and The Hummingbird’s Daughter.

In addition to being an author, Urrea is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago, having received degrees from the University of California at San Diego, and the University of Colorado-Boulder.


Urrea won a 1999 American Book Award for his memoir, Nobody’s Son: Notes from an American Life. In 2000, he was voted into the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. In 2005, his non-fiction account of Mexican immigrants, The Devil’s Highway, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2006, his historical novel, The Hummingbird’s daughter, won the Kiriyama Prize in fiction. In 2009, Urrea won an Edgar award from the Mystery Writers of America for best short story.

For additional information on the author, visit the NEA Big Read Author’s Page.