(born September 7
) is a Mexican-American author
best known for her novel Across a Hundred Mountains
. Though Mountains
is a work of fiction
, Grande drew heavily on her experiences growing up in Mexico
and her illegal immigration
to the United States.
Reyna Grande was born in the city of Iguala
(also the birthplace of the Mexican flag
) in the southern Mexican state
. She is the youngest of three siblings born in Mexico and has a brother and sister born in the U.S. Her childhood home was a shack made of bamboo sticks with tar-covered cardboard for a roof. When Grande was four years old, her parents moved to the United States, leaving her to be raised by her grandparents. When she was nine years old, her father returned and brought the three siblings across the U.S.-Mexico border
Grande grew up in the predominantly Latino Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park. In 1999 Grande became the first person in her family to receive a college diploma when she graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with majors in creative writing and film and video. In 2003 she was chosen to be a PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellow. Her debut novel, Across a Hundred Mountains, is published by Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster.