October 18, 2016

To: The Campus Community
From: Executive Vice Chancellor David Marshall & University Librarian Denise Stephens
Re: UCSB Reads 2017 Book Announcement: “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Urrea


The UC Santa Barbara Library and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor are pleased to announce the selection of a book for UCSB Reads 2017 — “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea.

Through a common reading experience, UCSB Reads brings the campus and Santa Barbara communities together for dialogue about important topical issues. 2017 marks the UCSB Library’s eleventh year of leading UCSB Reads and our first of presenting fiction.

In the story, 19-year old Nayeli leaves rural Mexico and journeys to California and beyond in search of her father and other men to protect her village. “Into the Beautiful North” uses humor to explore questions related to border crossings, immigration, and return migration.

By picking “Into the Beautiful North,” the UCSB Reads Advisory Committee—made up of faculty, staff, students, and community partners— recognized that fiction has a unique capacity to awaken our understanding and enhances our ability to explore complex ideas.

UCSB Reads 2017 will kick off in January when the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor, and University Librarian distribute free copies of the book to UCSB students in the UCSB Library. During the winter and spring quarters, UCSB Library will sponsor book discussions and other programs on campus and in the community. Urrea will deliver a free public lecture in Campbell Hall on April 24, 2017.

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Luis Alberto Urrea is the bestselling author also of “The Water Museum,” “The Devil's Highway,” “The Hummingbird's Daughter,” and “Queen of America,” among other works of poetry, fiction, and essays. His numerous honors include the Lannan Literary Award, the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize, an American Book Award, the Christopher Award, and an Edgar Award. In 2000, Urrea was inducted into the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea received his undergraduate degree in writing from UC San Diego, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He currently serves as a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

UCSB Library welcomes ideas and participation from faculty, students, and staff for UCSB Reads 2017. Faculty are encouraged to incorporate “Into the Beautiful North” into their winter or spring courses if relevant to the subject matter; the Library will provide free copies of the book to all students enrolled in these courses.

UCSB Reads is co-sponsored by multiple campus and community organizations, including UCSB Arts & Lectures.

If you wish to teach the book, participate in campus or community programming, or support UCSB Reads 2017, please contact:

Alex Regan, Events and Exhibitions Librarian
Phone: 805-893-3605
Email: UCSBReads@library.ucsb.edu

Thank you.