Maria Hinojosa


Maria Hinojosa (born July 2, 1961) is a Mexican-American journalist. She is the anchor and executive producer of Latino USA on National Public Radio (NPR), a public radio show devoted to Latino issues.

Maria Hinojosa in 2013


  • A writer is always so conflicted about their work, so it was liberating to be able to be in this space of my words, without being judgmental or changing anything. I vividly remembered the ideas that I had, where I was when I had them, how I imagined this moment of holding this book, I was emotionally connected to it. I reflected on the story of my arrival, and then my time as a young woman. I cried during the scene of my rape, and I found myself rooting for my character as I read on! I laugh about it now because I am the character, she is me! The process of narrating completely transformed my relationship to the memoir, even after I never imagined that it would.
  • Imagine this story as if you were telling it to your mother. I always write with this in mind. Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily work when writing a memoir, but it helps to focus on telling the story to one person. I didn’t have an image of a reader, per se, but I knew that I had to use my voice to connect to them. When you connect to somebody’s writing, it is powerful because it is such an intimate experience, but imagine an added element—the element of your voice. You can use your own voice to exude sensuality, anger, love, raw emotions. I go into the studio a lot, so doing this wasn’t particularly hard for me. I just close my eyes and go into a space.
  • The hardest part of my narration was when I read about my assault. I cried. It took me a while to get through it, maybe because of the way I wrote it. It was very graphic and one of the parts of the book that I wrote while crying. It felt like the scab was off, and I was diffing deeper into my wounds when I talked about this moment and others.…
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