Luis Alberto Urrea
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Luis Alberto Urrea (born August 20, 1955) is a Mexican American poet, novelist, and essayist.
- The kitchen was the United States; the living room was Mexico…One side was struggling with all her might to make me an American boy, and the other side, with all of his might, was trying to keep me a Mexican boy.
- On feeling like a border wall ran through his childhood home in “Mexican-American Author Finds Inspiration In Family, Tragedy And Trump” in NPR (2018 Mar 5)
- I felt everything crashing down and I didn't know what to do. It was such a harrowing experience being with his body. I sat in a room with him all night, his body, dealing with the police. And then I had to go to the border and deal with immigration and have all of his papers…By the time I got back to San Diego, I had forgotten English. It took me a minute to get back into being an American. I had only one way to deal with it, which was writing. I had been writing since high school, and so I wrote about it…
- On how his father’s death propelled him towards writing in “Mexican-American Author Finds Inspiration In Family, Tragedy And Trump” in NPR (2018 Mar 5)
- I have always been amazed that it seems to come as a shock to people that Mexicans are human beings. And on a philosophical level, I always remind interviewers that “the border” has nothing to do being Mexican or not. The border is simply a metaphor for what divides and wounds us as people – and I mean that “border” between any group of people, gay-straight, black-white, Muslim-Jewish, etc…
- On how the term border may be applied to other social divides in “Interview with Pulitzer Prize Finalist Luis Alberto Urrea” in Latino Book Review (2018 Feb 25)
- "Chicano" was a bad word when I was coming up. At least that's what the elders said. The word referred to a Mexican born in the U.S., so by that definition, I'm not Chicano. I was born in Tijuana, but the Mexicans didn't see me as Mexican and the Americans didn't see me as American. I'm a man without a flag. When I started working among Chicanos as an adult, some accepted me, but some didn't. On either side [of the border] I was the "other"; I've always been the other. Later on when I had a bit of success, people on both sides were much more enthusiastic about embracing me. The word "Latino" seems meaningless to me, and "Hispanic" is just wrong. These days, I just tell people my nationality is "Writer."
- On finding his niche as a writer in “AN INTERVIEW WITH LUIS ALBERTO URREA” in Bookslut (December 2011)
- It's very beneficial to Mexico that these workers [come to the U. S.]. It relieves a lot of social tension. It empties out the countryside of the poor and the needy. It stops revolution from happening. And it's sending back a tidal wave of money. The remittance money from the United States is the second or third largest source of income in Mexico now. I guess you could argue that we have an extremely generous foreign policy…
- On how migrant workers benefit Mexico in some way in “INTERVIEWS: Luis Alberto Urrea” in BookPage (April 2004)