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Luis Urrea

Return to Kankakee

Luis UrreaWatch "Luis Urrea: Return to Kankakee" now
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Pulitzer Prize nominated author Luis Urrea’s newest novel Into the Beautiful North was released by Little, Brown In May. It's the story of a small town in Mexico where the young women come to the realization that all the men have immigrated North. That means the women are now running the town and there is little male protection. After a Yul Brynner film festival in town, a group of the women decide they will set out (a la The Magnificent Seven) and cross into the US with the goal of recruiting seven "warriors" to return to Mexico and help save their small town. The heroine of the book is 19-year-old Nayeli whose father left the town several years ago to work in our hometown of Kankakee, Illinois! Her goal is to make her way from Mexico to Kankakee and bring her father back. Her guardian angel during the climax of her adventure is a Kankakee librarian based on our beloved Mary Jo Johnston. 59 min. 02 sec.

Editor’s Note about Luis Urrea: Three years ago, Luis Alberto Urrea visited Kankakee and has changed our community in ways we never expected. Mary Jo invited the Pulitzer Prize nominated author here to speak at the library and upon his visit to Kankakee, he discovered a community full of passionate spirit and vigor. He was so impressed with Kankakee and with Mary Jo, that in June of 2006 he wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times called “Kankakee Gets Its Groove Back”. Luis never ceases to amaze us with his dedication and support of our community. He is as phenomenal an individual as he is a writer.

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