The Madonnas of Echo Park Selected for Summer Reading Program
June 16, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The award-winning novel The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse has been chosen for Illinois Wesleyan University’s 2014 Summer Reading Program.
Selected by the Advising and Summer Reading Committee in coordination with the University’s
Speakers Committee, the book represents the University’s mission and commitment toward
diversity and social justice in a global society. Incoming first-year students will
discuss the book at small group meetings with faculty, staff and alumni on Wednesday,
Aug. 20 during Turning Titan: New Student Orientation.
The Madonnas of Echo Park
consists of interconnected fictional stories about Mexican Americans living in Echo
Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. Each character in the novel portrays a different
perspective and voice as they encounter problems with gang violence, deportation,
discrimination, social class, cultural identity and loss of home and land. The Madonnas of Echo Park helps readers to gain insight into the lives of Mexican Americans, and the hardships
they face while struggling to find their piece of the American dream.
A review in Publishers Weekly said, “Skyhorse excels at building a vibrant community and presenting several perspectives
on what it means to be Mexican in America, from those who wonder ‘how can you lose
something that never belonged to you?’ to those who miraculously find it.”
Skyhorse was born and raised in Echo Park, Calif., and is a graduate of Stanford University
and the MFA Writers’ Workshop program at the University of California, Irvine. He
received the 2011 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2011 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction
from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for The Madonnas of Echo Park.
Skyhorse is scheduled as the speaker for the President’s Convocation on Wednesday,
Sept. 3 at 11 a.m.
Contact: Danielle Kamp, (309) 556-3181, firstname.lastname@example.org