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Villanova University Selects Reyna Grande’s “The Distance Between Us: A Memoir” as 2015-16 Villanova One Book

University community joins together to contemplate the human face of the immigration crisis

The Distance Between Us

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has chosen The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande as its 2015-16 One Book Villanova program selection. The Distance Between Us brings home the extreme risks and impossible choices those fleeing poverty and danger in Mexico are forced to accept – family separation, harrowing border crossings, perpetual fear of deportation – in hope of finding a better life, and reunification, in the United States.

“The Distance Between Us: A Memoir is a compelling coming of age story about a young Mexican girl whose family decides to search for a better life and a more secure future beyond the bounds of the poor rural community they call home,” said Teresa Nance, assistant vice president for Multicultural Affairs and One Book Villanova committee co-chair.  “The author helps us understand that when given bad choices by the circumstances of life, we make decisions and then must live with the consequences no matter how unexpected they might be.”

One Book Villanova is a distinctive educational program that engages all segments of the campus community – students, staff and faculty – in activities presented throughout the academic year which explore dominant themes presented in a selected book. Copies of The Distance Between Us will be distributed to all incoming first year students to read over the summer. An on-campus book distribution event was also held on April 30.

"The One Book program is pleased to sponsor another great book selection on a timely topic – immigration,” said JJ Brown, Director of Student Development and One Book Villanova committee co-chair. “We believe The Distance Between Us will engage students and spur conversation campus-wide on this important topic.”

Discussion groups, public readings and special events will enliven and extend the campus community’s examination of The Distance Between Us throughout the 2015-16 academic year. A visit by the author to campus on September 10 as part of the University’s St. Thomas of Villanova celebration will include a presentation open to the public. Details of the event will be made available, as the date approaches, on the University’s One Book Villanova Website.

Other selections featured since the One Book Villanova program began in 2005 include The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni, Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson, Left To Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji, The Unforgiving Minute by Craig Mullaney, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, by Conor Grennan, Good Kings, Bad Kings, by Susan Nussbaum, and The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, by Wes Moore.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit