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MFA Graduate Making a Name for Herself

Professor Sharon Warner (far left) with Erika Sanchez (right, and speaking middle left) at the Texas Book Festival

Professor Sharon Warner served as a chair for the Young Adult Headquarters tent at the Texas Book Festival, which is a major event held at the Capitol Building in Austin, TX. The streets are all closed and 50,000 people convene to celebrate the year’s best books.

One of the featured panelists at the Young Adult Headquarters tent was Erika L. Sánchez, who graduated with distinction with an MFA from UNM in 2010 and received numerous fellowships and scholarships to continue her writing after graduation. She is currently a poet, novelist and essayist whose work has been published internationally, and in several languages. Recently featured in the Chicago Tribune, she is certainly making a name for herself.

At the Young Adult Headquarters, Sánchez spoke on her debut young adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, which is a New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award Finalist. It is a poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary story about a young adult who loses her sister and finds herself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home. A brief synopsis from Penguin Random House:

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

To find out more about Erika Sánchez, visit her website.