Words matter. These are the best Luis Alberto Urrea Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
I believe God is a poet; every religion in our history was made of poems and songs, and not a few of them had books attached.
I had not seen lawns till fifth grade – big green lawns.
It’s not like Mexicans have an illegal immigration organ in their body and at 14 kicks off a hormone and shows them how to come to the United States illegally. It’s a question of desperation for a vast majority of them.
The tone of ‘Into the Beautiful North’ is really the way I write. ‘Hummingbird’s Daughter’ was the anomaly. It was a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.
I’ve been treated beautifully wherever I’ve gone, and I really think we all want to love each other.
Way back when I was working at the dump, I saw that, even when living among the trash, that some people would decide to choose joy in their lives.
The concept of a literature of witness – of bearing witness – has embedded in it the need for action. One must not simply hide in the shadows and type; one must also stand in the light.
I’m interested in the eternal soul. That’s what I write about.
People think of me as a political writer, but I don’t think of myself that way.
It became really important to me if I was going to write ‘Hummingbird’s Daughter’ to try to do honor to women.
During grade school, we moved to a white, working-class suburb in San Diego, and there were no Mexicans.
I don’t like to see people get kicked around. You have to stand up for them.
I’m always fascinated by the disjunct between what’s really happening on the ground and the propaganda machine that feeds America alarmist news about immigration.
The situation was kind of complicated in that my mother didn’t speak Spanish. My father spoke English, you know, as best he could.
When I was a little boy in Tijuana, it was wonderland. We left when I was probably four – I was dying of tuberculosis.
‘The Hummingbird’s Daughter’ took 20 years to write.
Poetry is how I feed the soul, and it’s how I fire the furnace of writing.
A lot of our family was undocumented. My mom and dad were both super conservative. My dad had a green card; my mom was an Eisenhower Republican who did not approve of all the ‘illegal people.’
I have often said I come from a family of unreliable narrators. I tend to believe their struggles with racism, identity, nationality do dovetail with my motivation to write.
We want to ascribe a kind of tragic grimness to people, but people are funny.
A great Chicano forebear of mine in writing is Rolando Hinojosa-Smith. He was writing good border mysteries for Chicano readers back in the ’80s and ’90s.
I don’t like being angry all the time; it’s not good for me. I have to have serenity or else go to war.
I saw ‘The War Wagon’ with John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, but it was dubbed into German. And it had Japanese subtitles and then this little strip with some Spanish words, and I’ve never forgotten that weird image. It was so magical and funky.
I love books with titles like, ‘How Do You Spank a Porcupine?,’ ‘Arnie, the Darling Starling,’ or ‘The Bat in My Pocket.’
My dad looked like Errol Flynn, and I think my mom thought she was moving into a hacienda, but they lived on a dirt street in Tijuana, a house jammed with relatives, nobody speaking English. She didn’t know a word of Spanish. She grew up well and was appalled and humiliated, terrified of anyone ethnic.