Thursday, November 6, 2014

Luis Alberto Urrea to speak at UL-Lafayette

            Luis Alberto Urrea, the 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist, will speak in Lafayette at a dinner on Nov. 9 and a lecture Nov. 10, both hosted by the UL-Lafayette Friends of the Humanities.
            Urrea, critically acclaimed writer and best-selling author of 13 books, has won numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. He was the 1996 writer-in-residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 
            At a dinner on Nov. 9, Urrea will discuss the relationship between his writing and his search for identity beginning with a social at 4:30 p.m., with dinner at 5:30 p.m. Urrea’s books will be available for sale. Tickets are $30 for open seating and $35 for reserved seating. Call (337) 280-3212 for information or tickets.
            On Monday, Nov. 10, the UL-Lafayette College of Liberal Arts and the Friends of the Humanities will host Urrea for a reading at 3:30 p.m. in Oliver Hall Auditorium on the university campus. Urrea will share a reading from “The Devil’s Highway.” The event is open to the public and free.
            “The Devil’s Highway,” his 2004 nonfiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize.
            His historical novel, “The Hummingbird's Daughter,” tells the story of Teresa Urrea, who is known as the Saint of Cabora and the Mexican Joan of Arc. The book, which involved 20 years of research and writing, won the Kiriyama Prize in fiction. It has been optioned by acclaimed Mexican director Luis Mandoki for a film to star Antonio Banderas.
            Urrea is a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. Born in Tijuana, Mexico, to a Mexican father and an American mother, he uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore themes of love, loss and triumph.
            Friends of the Humanities was established in 1989 as a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the role of the interdisciplinary humanities at UL-Lafayette and in Acadiana; supporting the College of Liberal Arts; and strengthening the resources of the University’s humanities program.
            For more information, contact the Friends of the Humanities at or (337) 981-7236.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at