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Award-winning author coming to Doane for lecture

Award-winning author Luis Alberto Urrea will speak about his acclaimed book “The Devil’s Highway,” which won the Lannan Literary Award and was a Pulitzer Prize Award finalist in 2005 for non-fiction, as part of the Lucille Cobb Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 in Heckman Auditorium on Doane College’s School of Arts and Sciences campus in Crete. He will also host two question-and-answer sessions in the afternoon before the lecture.

His bestselling 2004 novel is the shared book for Doane’s Liberal Arts Seminar for first-year students.

Urrea, currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago, has published 14 books ranging from poetry to fiction to non-fiction. “The Devil’s Highway” was also a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize – an award for written pieces from countries of the Pacific Rim – and is on the American Library Association’s Outstanding Books for the College Bound list.

The San Diego, Calif., native, now living with his family in Naperville, Ill., has won several awards. In 2000, he became a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. His 2006 historical novel “The Hummingbird’s Daughter” won the Kiriyama Prize in fiction and was widely regarded as one of the year’s top books. Along with other honors, Urrea owns an Anthony Award, Edgar Award and Macavity Awards for his short stories.

Combined, “The Devil’s Highway” and “The Hummingbird’s Daughter” have been selected by more than 30 different cities and colleges for One Book community reading programs.

Aside from his current post at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Urrea has taught at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and Massachusetts Bay Community College. He once had a fellowship at Harvard University and served as the writer-in-residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Funding for Urrea's upcoming lecture was provided by Doane’s Public Events Committee, Academic Affairs/Liberal Arts Seminar 101, Multicultural Services, Education department and English department.

Urrea will host two question-and-answer questions the day of his lecture, the first from 1-2:15 p.m. and the second from 2:30-3:45 p.m., in Heckman Auditorium.