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Monday, Dec. 14, 2009

Reyna Grande Spreads Her Wings in ‘Dancing With Butterflies’

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In some Mexican cultures, butterflies represent extraordinary spiritual, magical creations that are believed to embody the spirits of the dead and the souls of deities. Not surprisingly, many Mexican-American authors have incorporated these alluring insects into their writing, as Reyna Grande affirms in her second novel, Dancing With Butterflies.Grande, whose critically acclaimed debut, Across a Hundred Mountains, received a 2007 American Book Award, continues to paint intimate portraits of characters in her sophomore saga.

Dancing With Butterflies is a lyrical offering that follows the lives of four very different women whose stories are so gripping and honest that they add new chapters to the Mexican immigrant experience. Each personality is expressed through the unique understanding of a woman tested by love, betrayal and family. Grande’s intimate prose convincingly brings these fictional characters to life as she weaves a narrative of sibling rivalry, timeless relationships and individual dreams.

In many ways, Grande can be compared to the distinct individuals she creates in Dancing With Butterflies. Born in Mexico in 1975, Grande was raised by her grandparents after her parents left to find work in the United States. Grande, who entered the United States as an undocumented child when she was 9 years old, ultimately became the first person in her family to receive a college degree. Though her writing focuses on Latino culture, Grande transcends ethnicity by embracing universal tales that speak to people of all backgrounds. In Dancing With Butterflies, Grande captures the poignant voices of four women as they discover the pain and passion of life. Grande is scheduled to speak at Boswell Book Co. on Friday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.