Biography of Erika L. Sánchez

Erika L. Sánchez was born in 1984 in Cicero, Illinois to undocumented Mexican immigrants. Sánchez was raised in a predominantly Mexican-American working-class community, and she is bilingual in Spanish and English. Sánchez went on to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. She received a Fulbright Scholarship and lived in Madrid, Spain, before receiving her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico. Sánchez's writing often draws inspiration from her experience as a first-generation, Mexican-American woman.

Sánchez is a poet, novelist, and essayist. In July 2017, Graywolf published her debut poetry collection, entitled Lessons on Expulsion. This collection was well-received, and it was a finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award. Later that year, in October 2017, Knopf Books for Young Readers published Sánchez's young-adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. The book was a finalist for the National Book Awards, and was also listed as a New York Times Bestseller.

From 2012-2015, Sánchez was the love advice columnist for Cosmopolitan for Latinas. She was a Princeton Arts Fellow from 2017-2019, and she was also a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Sánchez is currently a professor in the Latin American and Latino Studies Department at DePaul University. Her memoir, Crying in the Bathroom, is slated to be released in 2022. She lives in Chicago.

Study Guides on Works by Erika L. Sánchez