In our first bilingual event, we ask Alfredo Corchado to talk about his latest book and what inspired him to tell the story of him and three friends and their journeys after migrating to the United States.
What does it take to be an American? Where do I fit in? These are the questions that shape award-winning Mexican-American journalist Alfredo Corchado’s journey in his 2018 book, Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the fate of the Mexican-American migration. An exploration of “the Mexico within the United States,” Homelands uses Corchado’s own story to frame the Mexican-Immigrant experience in America today.
With a national identity fueled by family, food, language, music, and tequila, Corchado uses a mixture of research and memoir to illuminate the last great Mexican migration and, through generational shifts in his own family, how migration from Mexico has changed over the past 50 years. The need for belonging in both homes and the elimination of the pressure to choose just one identity follow Corchado’s stories of his family in America and Mexico, his journey to Pittsburgh as a young journalist for the Wall Street Journal, and his career as one of the most successful and prolific Mexican-American journalists. As the Trump presidency progressed and immigration came onto the center stage of the American political dialogue, Corchado says he felt an increasing sense of urgency in his book not to become polarized or political, but to encourage a deeper understanding among his readers.
Homelands, through the stories and experiences of four friends–one journalist, one restaurateur, one activist, and one lawyer and politician–brings many different and essential perspectives to a central part of current American policy, deepening readers’ understanding of the vital and dynamic force of Mexican-American immigrants.
Alfredo Corchado covered U.S.-Mexico issues for The Dallas Morning News since 1993. A graduate of UTEP, he’s also reported from Washington and Cuba. Before the News, Corchado reported at El Paso Herald-Post & The Wall Street Journal in Dallas and Philadelphia. He’s author of Midnight in Mexico and Homelands.