YA Author Maria Andreu Discusses American Diversity During Hispanic Heritage Month

Maria Andreu is the award-winning author of The Secret Side of Empty (2014, Running Press), a young adult novel based on her own experiences as an undocumented teenager in New York City. The Secret Side of Empty provides readers with a glimpse into the fear, frustration and, ultimately, the strength that comes from being “illegal” in your own home.

Maria Andreu, YA author of The Secret Side of Empty.

Maria Andreu, YA author of The Secret Side of Empty.

In honor of, and reflecting on, National Hispanic Heritage Month, Maria recently wrote a guest blog post about her experience of diversity in America and her role as a Hispanic American reader and writer. In person, as in this blog post, Maria suggests that America’s discourse on immigration and diversity has grown stale – and is perhaps even stifling.

“But the reality of it can’t be denied. Books are segregated, just like we are. “Diverse” books are looked to for what they can bring to the conversation about race and gender and ethnicity but not as often to what they can add to the conversation about being human. In a way, we can look at this reality and see a microcosm for our larger issues. I don’t hope for a color-blind society or even for a meritocracy, when diversity is real and what passes for merit is so often infused with privilege and access. I hope for a world where we no longer need to point out whether a book is diverse. I hope for a day when diverse books get shelf space not as a political message but as a literary reality, a mirror of the rest of our world.” – Maria Andreu

Interested in hearing Maria speak on this subject or about The Secret Side of Empty? Contact Books In Common today.

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