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Erika L. Sanchez

Born: in
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Sanchez was raised in Cicero, a suburb of Chicago. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She currently resides in Chicago.

Biography: Erika L. Sanchez is a poet, novelist, and essayist. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her nonfiction has been published in Al Jazeera, Cosmopolitan,, the Guardian, NBC News, Rolling Stone, Salon, and elsewhere. She has received a CantoMundo Fellowship, a Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship to Madrid, Spain, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She is a 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellow.Sanchez was the sex and love advice columnist for Cosmopolitan for Latinas for three years, and her writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Salon, and the Paris Review.

  • Lessons on Expulsion - Finalist-PEN America Open Book Award, Starred Review-Library Journal
  • I am not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter - Bestseller-New York Times, Starred Reviews-School Library Journal, The Bulletin, and Shelf Awareness, Finalist-National Book Award, New York Times Bestseller
  • Crying in the Bathroom - TIME's Roundup of '27 Books You Need to Read this Summer'

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Poetry

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Crying in the Bathroom: A Memoir
ISBN: 0593296931 OCLC:

Viking 2022

From the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, an utterly original memoir-in-essays that is as deeply moving as it is hilariously funny --

I am not your perfect Mexican daughter /
ISBN: 1524700487 OCLC:

When the sister who delighted their parents by her faithful embrace of Mexican culture dies in a tragic accident, Julia, who longs to go to college and move into a home of her own, discovers from mutual friends that her sister may not have been as perfect as believed.

Lessons on expulsion :
ISBN: 1555977782 OCLC:

What is life but a cross / over rotten water? Poet, novelist, and essayist Erika L. Sánchez powerful debut poetry collection explores what it means to live on both sides of the border -- the border between countries, languages, despair and possibility, and the living and the dead. Sánchez tells her own story as the daughter of undocumented Mexican immigrants and as part of a family steeped in faith, work, grief, and expectations. The poems confront sex, shame, race, and an America roiling with xenophobia, violence, and laws of suspicion and suppression. With candor and urgency, and with the unblinking eyes of a journalist, Sánchez roves from the individual life into the lives of sex workers, narco-traffickers, factory laborers, artists, and lovers. What emerges is a powerful, multifaceted portrait of survival. Lessons on Expulsion is the first book by a vibrant, essential new writer now breaking into the national literary landscape.