On January 21, 2019, we had the honor of hosting award-winning author Reyna Grande to Rectory. Prior to her visit, our students read her book, The Distance Between Us, an eye-opening memoir about life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to the United States.
Headmaster Fred Williams introduced Ms. Grande and then Aitana G.'20 read out letters written to her from students in both Spanish and English. Ms. Gande spoke to the school about how writing helped her overcome the traumas of her early childhood and how she believes that everyone has something to offer the world. Appropriately she wove the words of Dr. King into her presentation. "Life's most persistent and urgent question is ' What are you doing for others?" She looked up at our students in the P.Y. & Kinmay Tang Auditorium and told them that they were the leaders of tomorrow and encourage them to challenge themselves to think about what they can offer the world.
She fielded questions from the audience afterward signed copies of her books. She posed with some of our Mexican students and headmaster, Fred Williams at the end.
Miss Grande wrote two other books prior to The Distance Betweeen Us, Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies. Her latest book, A Dream Called Home, was published in October and is the follow up memoir to The Distance Between Us.
Reyna Grande is the recipient of the 2015 Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature. Her first novel, Across a Hundred Mountains (Atria, 2006), received a 2006 El Premio Aztlan Literary Award, a 2007 American Book Award, and a 2010 Latino Books Into Movies Award. Her second novel, Dancing with Butterflies (Washington Square Press, 2009) was critically acclaimed and was the recipient of a 2010 International Latino Book Award, Best Women's Issues, and a 2010 Las Comadres & Friends National Latino Book Club Selection. She was also a 2003 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. The Distance Between Us was a 2012 National Book Critics Circle Awards Finalist and has been selected by numerous city-wide read programs, including Rochester Reads 2018, MacReads 2018, One Book/One Michiana 2018, All Henrico Reads 2018, Timberland Reads Together 2017, Telluride One Book/One Canyon 2017, Estes Park One Book/One Valley 2017, Saginaw One Book/One Community 2016, Camarillo Reads 2016, Roswell Reads 2015, and One Maryland/One Book 2014, among others. To learn more about Reyna Grande and her work, visit www.reynagrande.com.