(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Pulitzer Prize-winning author Sonia Nazario, a graduate of neighboring Williams College one town over in Williamstown, will speak at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) about her book, Enrique’s Journey, on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, at 7 p.m., in the MCLA Church Street Center’s Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium. Enrique’s Journey is the 2012 summer reading assignment for all incoming MCLA students, required as part of the First Year Experience courses this fall. The event is free and open to the public.
Enrique’s Journey, the story of a Honduran boy’s struggle to find his mother in the United States, has won more than a dozen awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, the George Polk Award for International Reporting, the Grand Prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Overall Excellence.
Nazario, a graduate of Williams College, has spent 20 years reporting and writing about social issues, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Her stories have dealt with some of this country’s most intractable problems, including hunger, drug addiction and immigration.
She has won numerous national journalism and book awards. Expanded into a book, Enrique’s Journey became a national bestseller and won two book awards. It is now required reading for incoming freshmen at dozens of colleges and high schools across the U.S.
In 1998, Nazario was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for a series on children of drug-addicted parents. In 1994, she won a George Polk Award for Local Reporting for a series about hunger among schoolchildren in California. Nazario has been named among the most influential Latinos by Hispanic Business Magazine and a “trendsetter” by Hispanic Magazine.
Nazario began her career at the Wall Street Journal, where she reported from four bureaus: New York, Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles. In 1993, she joined the Los Angeles Times. She serves on the advisory boards of the University of North Texas Mayborn Literary Non-fiction Writer’s Conference and of Catch the Next, a nonprofit working to double the number of Latinos enrolling in college. She also is on the board of Kids in Need of Defense, a nonprofit launched by Microsoft and Angelina Jolie to provide pro-bono attorneys to unaccompanied immigrant children.
Nazario is a graduate of Williams College and has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2010, Nazario received an honorary doctorate from Mount St. Mary’s College. Nazario, who grew up in Kansas and Argentina, has written exclusively from Latin America and about Latinos in the U.S. She is at work on her second book.