Award-winning author and memoirist Reyna Grande visited campus last week to meet and speak with students about her book “The Distance Between Us,” this year’s Keker First Year Common Read.
“The Distance Between Us” is an eye-opening memoir about life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to the United States. While the personal coming-of-age story focuses on the Mexican immigrant experience, it also touches on more universal themes, such as family, home, poverty, memory and the pursuit of the “American Dream.”
The book received a 2017 Honor Book Award for the Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, a 2016 Eureka! Honor Awards from the California Reading Association, and an International Literacy Association Children’s Book Award 2017.
New students read the book in the summer as part of UNC Greensboro’s Keker First Year Common Read program. Throughout the fall, the book has been integrated throughout students’ curricular and co-curricular learning experiences.
The author visit on Oct. 10 was the culmination of the program, with 1,000 first-year students attending an evening talk by Grande. Grande read an essay and an excerpt from her new book, “A Dream Called Home,” and answered questions about her experience as a first-generation student, her thoughts on assimilation and how she finds her “home” in her writing.
In addition to the evening talk, Grande visited with students and alumni at a special luncheon, and visited two first-year seminar courses.
To learn more about the Keker First Year Common Read, a program of New Student Transitions & First Year Experience, visit newstudents.uncg.edu/yfy/keker.
Photography by Christopher Bozzano, New Student Transitions & First Year Experiences