Fronteras: A Conversation With Reyna Grande & Celebrating San Antonio's West Side | Texas Public Radio

Fronteras: A Conversation With Reyna Grande & Celebrating San Antonio's West Side

Oct 5, 2018

Reyna grande means “grand queen” in English. But author and memoirist Reyna Grande hasn’t always felt like she’s gotten the royal treatment as an immigrant. She joins us to discuss her memoir “A Dream Called Home” (0:18). Then, we bring you a story about a West Side San Antonio housing project, highlighting the history of the Alazán-Apache Courts (15:11).

Reyna Grande
Credit Imran Chaudhry

Reyna Grande: Not Quite American Enough, Not Quite Mexican Enough

Author and memoirist Reyna Grande was only 2 years old when her father left her home of Iguala, Mexico, to find work in the U.S. Her mother followed two years later. Grande made her own journey north at the age of 9. Grande’s 2012 bestselling memoir “The Distance Between Us” describes her life before and after illegally emigrating from Mexico to the U.S.

The follow-up to that book is the memoir “A Dream Called Home.”  Fronteras contributor Yvette Benavides spoke toGrande in advance of her book’s release on Oct. 2.

One of the buildings of the Alazán-Apache Courts.
Credit Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

Birth Of San Antonio’s West Side Culture

The Alazán-Apache Courts were the first public housing project in San Antonio. Built in 1941, the buildings were a revelation for west siders. Residents who had no outdoor plumbing, and who lived in wooden shacks with dirt floors, now had roofs over their heads and running water.

RELATEDHow San Antonio's Oldest Public Housing Project Shaped West Side Culture

A new exhibit, “Los Courts,” highlights the residents and culture that grew out of the projects.

“Los Courts” is on display at the Alazán Courts Community Room through Oct. 26.

Norma Martinez can be reached by email at and on Twitter @NormDog1