Barry McNamara  |   Published September 01, 2020

Book Club to Discuss ‘In the Country We Love’

Public invited to join Latinx Book Club over Zoom to discuss memoir by TV actress Diane  Guerrero.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – A sad but “very relevant” autobiography by an actress in one of television’s biggest hit shows will be featured in a September discussion at Monmouth College.

Voces, the Latinx Book Club at Monmouth, will host a discussion via Zoom at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 of the book In the Country We Love by actress Diane Guerrero, who stars in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.

Co-hosts of the discussion will be Leslie Linares ’21 of Chicago, a double major in psychology and Spanish, and Camila Rico ’22 of Monmouth, a double major in Spanish and international studies. Moderating the discussion will be Jennifer Thorndike, an assistant professor of modern languages, literatures and cultures.

Guerrero was 14 years old on the day her parents were detained and deported while she was at school. Born in the United States, Guerrero remained in the country to continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in and helped her build a life and a successful acting career.

“It’s a horrible story and really sad story of losing her parents because they were undocumented and discovered,” said Thorndike. “She talks about this struggle, she talks about how she had to face living alone, about how the family always had to live in fear because it was something that could happen and they knew it. She talks about all the problems and the fears that undocumented immigrants face every day. It’s sometimes hard to read because the story is very, very sad.”

More than 11 million undocumented immigrants are living in the United States, many of whom have citizen children. Guerrero’s memoir casts a light on the fears that haunt the daily existence of families like the author’s and on a system that repeatedly fails them.

“I think these topics are very relevant,” said Thorndike. “And you don’t have to read the book to participate in the discussion, but if you want to read it, that would be great – it’s a great book.”

Free copies of the book are available in Hewes Library. To request a copy, contact library director Sarah Henderson.

To receive an invitation for the series, contact Thorndike. The discussion is open to everyone in the community. The event is sponsored by the Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department and Hewes Library.

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