A Dream Called Home: A Memoir (Hardcover)
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“The emotional and practical challenges for a young immigrant are on full display in Grande’s evocative, inspiring memoir.” —People
From bestselling author Reyna Grande—whose remarkable memoir The Distance Between Us has become required reading in schools across the country—comes an inspiring account of one woman’s quest to find her place in America as a first-generation Latina university student and aspiring writer determined to build a new life for her family one fearless word at a time.
When Reyna Grande was nine years old, she walked across the US–Mexico border in search of a home, desperate to be reunited with the parents who had left her behind years before for a better life in the City of Angels. What she found instead was an indifferent mother, an abusive, alcoholic father, and a school system that belittled her heritage.
With so few resources at her disposal, Reyna finds refuge in words, and it is her love of reading and writing that propels her to rise above until she achieves the impossible and is accepted to the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Although her acceptance is a triumph, the actual experience of American college life is intimidating and unfamiliar for someone like Reyna, who is now once again estranged from her family and support system. Again, she finds solace in words, holding fast to her vision of becoming a writer, only to discover she knows nothing about what it takes to make a career out of a dream.
Through it all, Reyna is determined to make the impossible possible, going from undocumented immigrant of little means to “a fierce, smart, shimmering light of a writer” (Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild); a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist “speak[ing] for millions of immigrants whose voices have gone unheard” (Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street); and a proud mother of two beautiful children who will never have to know the pain of poverty and neglect.
Told in Reyna’s exquisite, heartfelt prose, A Dream Called Home demonstrates how, by daring to pursue her dreams, Reyna was able to build the one thing she had always longed for: a home that would endure.
About the Author
Reyna Grande is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. As a girl, she crossed the US–Mexico border to join her family in Los Angeles, a harrowing journey chronicled in The Distance Between Us, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist that has been adopted as the common read selection by over twenty schools and colleges and fourteen cities across the country. Her other books include the novels Across a Hundred Mountains, winner of a 2007 American Book Award, and Dancing with Butterflies, and The Distance Between Us, Young Reader’s Version. She lives in Woodland, CA with her husband and two children. Visit ReynaGrande.com.
“Grande (The Distance Between Us) writes with strength and passion of her life’s journey….This uplifting story of fortitude and resilience looks deeply into the complexities of immigration and one woman’s struggle to adapt and thrive in America.”
"Candid and emotionally complex, Grande's book celebrates one woman's tenacity in the face of hardship and heartbreak while offering hope to other immigrants as they "fight to remain" and make their voices heard in a changing America. A heartfelt, inspiring, and relevant memoir."
"Reyna Grande’s A Dream Called Home is a moving memoir about building a family, becoming a writer, and redefining America. Writers in need of inspiration should read this book."
— Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author of The Sympathizer
"Reyna Grande is a fearless writer and a tireless warrior for the unrepresented and silenced. Her power is growing with every book."
— Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Devil's Highway
"Reyna Grande’s march towards her brilliant career astonishes me. She makes seemingly-disastrous choices, but bobs and floats through as buoyant as cork. Her mistakes are familiar, but her recovery is unique. Here is a life story so unbelievable, it could only be true."
— Sandra Cisneros, bestselling author of The House on Mango Street
“Grande's engaging and frank narrative flows painlessly, leaving no stones unturned…She carries off these scenes and the accompanying interior dialogues with humor and panache.”
"When the spark of a fierce intelligence touches a soul deep and true, an entire world is born. Writers like Reyna Grande give us more than a story, more than a book, more than just a slice of their experience or their imagination; they give us a world in which to dwell, a place we can always return to when we need to make sense of the chaos that surrounds us. A Dream Called Home is such a place."
— Valeria Luiselli, award-winning author of Tell Me How It Ends
"A Dream Called Home is a deeply moving, beautifully written portrait of a young woman's journey to her own best life against the odds. Reyna Grande is a national treasure; her vision is not only singular, but essential to our contemporary culture. This is a beacon of a book."
— Carolina De Robertis, award-winning author of The Gods of Tango
"The emotional and practical challenges for a young immigrant are on full display in Grande's evocative, inspiring memoir."
"Grande's prose is poetic and expressive, and her story is timely and relevant. . . . An insightful memoir."
Praise for The Distance Between Us
“In this poignant memoir about her childhood in Mexico, Reyna Grande skillfully depicts another side of the immigrant experience—the hardships and heartbreaks of the children who are left behind. Through her brutally honest firsthand account of growing up in Mexico without her parents, Grande sheds light on the often overlooked consequence of immigration—the disintegration of a family.”
— Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of Enrique's Journey
Grande captivates and inspires in her memoir. She deftly evokes the searing sense of heartache and confusion. Tracing the complex and tattered relationships binding the family together, especially the bond she shared with her older sister, the author intimately probes her family’s history for clues to its disintegration. Recounting her story without self-pity, she gracefully chronicles the painful results of a family shattered by repeated separations and traumas.
“A brutally honest book…akin to being the Angela’s Ashes of the modern Mexican immigrant experience.”
“Reyna Grande is a fierce, smart, shimmering light of a writer with an important story to tell.”
— Cheryl Strayed, New York Times bestselling author of Wild
“I’ve been waiting for this book for decades. The American story of the new millennium is the story of the Latino immigrant, yet how often has the story been told by the immigrant herself? What makes Grande’s beautiful memoir all the more extraordinary is that, through this hero’s journey, she speaks for millions of immigrants whose voices have gone unheard.”
— Sandra Cisneros, bestselling author of The House on Mango Street
“Grande consistently displays a fierce willingness to ask tough questions, accept startling answers, and candidly render emotional and physical violence.”
“The poignant yet triumphant tale Grande tells of her childhood and eventual illegal immigration puts a face on issues that stir vehement debate.”
“Eloquent, honest storytelling. This book would be fabulous required reading for college freshmen or, even better, for freshman members of Congress,”
“An important piece of America’s immigrant history.”
“Grande never flinches in describing her surroundings and feelings, while her resilience and ability to empathize allow her to look back with a compassion that makes this story one that everyone should read.”