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Luis Alberto Urrea Books In Order

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Publication Order of Border Trilogy Books

Across the Wire (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
By the Lake of Sleeping Children (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nobody's Son (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The Hummingbird's Daughter Books

The Hummingbird's Daughter (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Queen of America (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The Fever of Being (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ghost Sickness (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vatos (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Six Kinds of Sky (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tijuana Book of the Dead (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Water Museum (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Piedra (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

A World of Turtles: A Literary Celebration (With: Gregory McNamee) (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wandering Time (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Devil's Highway (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

In Search of Snow (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Into the Beautiful North (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The House of Broken Angels (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Good Night, Irene (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Anthologies

Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Annual Collection(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Phoenix Noir(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
By Hook or By Crook and 27 More of the Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
USA Noir(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Highway Kind(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alone Together(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Writer's Library(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Don’t Turn Out the Lights(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Growing Up Chicago(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering(2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Mexican novelist, poet and essayist Luis Alberto Urrea is world renowned for his unique and concise voice that is measured in both style and tone. Able to conjure up a huge array of different images and visual with a simple turn of phrase, he has crafted a career from his use of mysticism and evocative otherworldly stories. Taking the readers on a journey, he really manages to get to the heart of his subject matter, really allowing his subjects to come alive for the reader.

Early and Personal Life

Born in Tijuana, Mexico, on the 20th of August, 1955, he would grow up with a keen interest in both reading and writing from an early age. This would see him on his way to becoming a world renowned writer, as he would nurture his passion throughout the intervening years. Moving to Logan Heights, South San Diego, in 1958, he was registered an American born abroad with his parents working in San Diego.

In 1965 they would move on to live in Clairemont, as he would come to convalesce from his bout of tuberculosis, which was a worry early on. Studying at and graduating from the University of California in San Diego, he would gain a degree in writing in 1977. This would later be backed up after studying at the University of Colorado in Boulder, which he would go on to complete his graduate studies at.

Following this he would have an essay published in 1980, which would be about the tragic murder of his father following his trip back to his home village looking for funding for his son’s studies. This experience would come to shape a lot of Urrea’s writing, as he sought to cope with the grief through his work. Through his essay he would articulate his feelings about this event, as he would put pen to paper and speak his mind on the subject.

Currently working at the University of Illinois in Chicago, he is a professor of creative writing there, tutoring young up-and-coming writers. Living with his family, he lives in Naperville in Illinois, as he continues to write regularly, always on the lookout for the next big idea. This is something that will carry on for quite some time to come, as he doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon.

Writing Career

It would be in 1993 that he would publish his first book, a non-fictional titled called ‘Across the Wire: life and hard times on the Mexican border’. The following year in 1994 he would follow this up with the fictional title ‘In Search of Snow’, along with the poetry book ‘The Fever of Being’ that same year. From then on he would regularly release a consistently varied selection of novels throughout the subsequent years.

Over the years Urrea has largely released stand-alone novels, mainly focusing on self contained stories for the duration of his literary career. These have mostly been centered around ideas of mysticism, along with his own experiences, bringing his own life-story to the page. Speaking in a straight-forward yet elusive manner, he has crafted a finely honed and unique style that really captivates the readers imagination.

Gaining a lot of critical acclaim throughout his career too, he has gone on to attract a worldwide audience from far and wide. Speaking in a style that resonates with readers regardless of their respective background, he has managed to convey his ideas on a universal level. This is something that has come to appreciated by both the critics and the general public alike, with his books selling on a mass global level.

Commentating on contemporary issues, he has regularly spoken out about subjects concerning his own cultural heritage and where it is heading. Speaking on subjects such as Mexico and America, he really manages to capture the feeling of the moment, whilst also vocalizing his own thoughts on the topic in hand. This has given his work a real feeling of personality and searing wit, as he works at building a real sense of momentum over the course of his novels.

Teaching on the subject of creative writing as well, he has previously lectured at institutions such as Harvard University, whereby he has created fiction writing workshops. This has seen him come to the forefront of his field, as he maintains a profile that is highly respected worldwide by all. With a lot more to come on the horizon too, he has created a legacy that will continue to be respected for a long time to come yet.

In Search of Snow

Initially published through the University of Arizona Press in 1994, this would come to be the first fictional novel from Luis Alberto Urrea as an author. Establishing him as a literary presence, it would bring him to the forefront of the field as someone to definitely watch in the years to follow. With a self-contained coming-of-age story, it really manages to capture the essence of growing up at a certain period in time.

Working as a coming-of-age story, this really utilizes the writing talents of Urrea, showcasing all that he has to offer. Taking his ideas and conceptualizing them early on, this is a must for any fans of the writer hoping to gain an insight into his past and development as an author. Not only that, but it also provides a fun and engaging story, with a whole world drawn within, immersing the readers themselves in the rich narrative.

Taking place in Arizona during the late 1950s, the young Mike McGurk is coming-of-age there suddenly, as he yearns for a life beyond the one he knows. His father is Texaco Turk McGurk, an amateur boxer who Mike exchanges snappy one-liners with, along with all the other eccentric characters who inhabit his life. It is his poetry writing cousin Lily who captures his imagination and attention, as he yearn and lusts after her, as well as having a series of fun-filled adventures. Will he ever break free to achieve his dreams? Can he gain the attention of his cousin? What will he discover in search of snow?

Queen of America

Coming out in 2011 on the 28th of November, this would be published through the ‘Little, Brown and Company’ publishing label. Following on from the previous novel, ‘The Hummingbird’s Daughter’, it manages to capture the essence of the first, whilst taking it forwards in new directions. Using a period setting as its template, it is a coming-of-age story once again, this time set in an exciting new world.

Looking into his own family history, this concerns the arrival of one young Teresita Urrea in America in 1892. Looking at her time arriving there and her passage that takes her through New York, San Francisco and on to St. Louis, she sees a lot during her time there. Arriving there she sees a lot, with a whole vast array of characters, all of which will inspire her journey in some way. What will she find? Can she ever really love? Who is the Queen of America?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Luis Alberto Urrea

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