From Iguala to El Otro Lado: A Young Girl’s Journey to the American Dream

Where: Eugene Public Library, 100 W. 10th Ave.

Mexican-American writer Reyna Grande, who won an American Book Award for her first novel and was named a finalist for a National Books Critic Circle Award for her memoir, will headline the upcoming CSWS Northwest Women Writers Symposium.

With the theme “Crossing Borders: Women’s Stories of Immigration, Migration, and Transition,” the event runs May 6-8 and is free and open to the public, although some workshops will fill quickly and preregistration is advised. The fifth annual symposium is a cooperative effort of the UO’s Center for the Study of Women in Society and the Eugene Public Library.

Grande will share her personal story, “From Iguala to El Otro Lado: A Young Girl’s Journey to the American Dream,” in her keynote address during the First Friday Artwalk at 6 p.m. May 6 at the downtown Eugene Public Library, 100 W. 10th Ave.

Grande’s memoir, “The Distance Between Us,” will be the focus of a May 6 panel discussion that includes commentary by several UO scholars and two Eugene School District administrators, Carmen Urbina and Superintendent Gustavo Balderas. The memoir is lauded by Los Angeles Times book reviewer and UO journalism professor Hector Tobar as the “'Angela’s Ashes’ of the modern Mexican immigrant experience.”

The discussion begins at 1 p.m. at the Knight Library Browsing Room.

Also on the schedule is the premiere of UO anthropology professor Lynn Stephen’s documentary “Sad Happiness: Cinthia’s Transborder Story,” which explores the differential rights of U.S. citizen children and their undocumented parents through the story of one extended Zapotec family. It airs at noon Friday, May 6, at the Knight Library Browsing Room. 

For a complete schedule and listing of workshops, panels, readings, and musical performance, see the conference website at