Beloved by the immigrants and working people whose rights he has championed, eleven-term Congressman Luis Gutierrez is among Latinos, along with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the most recognized Hispanic public figure in America.
Community leaders and activists hosted the first reading of Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill, the new memoir by Congressman Luis Gutiérrez on Saturday, Sept 28, at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture.
The Congressman and his daughter, Omaira, read excerpts from the book to a capacity filled gallery with more than 200 people present and which included, some of Chicago’s most prominent movers and shakers, such as Ald. Ed Burke, Ald. Danny Solis, Ald. Joe “Proco” Moreno, State Rep. Cynthia Soto, Josh Hoyt, Carmen Velázquez, Emma Lozano, Rev. Coleman, Marvin Garcia, Maria Pesquiera, Celina Roldan, and Nancy Aardema, among others.
The new memoir is published by W.W. Norton & Company, and will be available in bookstores on October 7. and for pre-order online at wwnorton.com and by major booksellers including Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
Nearly 150 books were purchased and signed that day, the proceeds of which will benefit the programs of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. Anyone interested in acquiring a signed copy of the book which will continue to benefit the PRCC, please contact Alejandro Luis Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Books are $35.
The Congressman was received with a warm and resounding standing ovation by those present after an introduction by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center Executive Director, José E. López.
Gutierrez’ memoir recounts his political awakening and ongoing efforts as a national leader in the fight for immigrants’ rights. He writes of his formative years in both Chicago and Puerto Rico as he struggled with issues of language, ethnicity, and class; his battles with the Chicago Democratic machine; the inspiration he drew from working alongside the late Mayor Harold Washington; and how he has become the steadfast champion of the rights of immigrants and working people in the House of Representatives.
Still Dreaming has drawn early praise from reviewers. Kirkus Reviews called it “funny, feisty and heartfelt,” and Booklist called it “engaging.” Senator Bill Bradley’s recommendation is on the book jacket, saying, “Read Still Dreaming and you’ll feel better about America.” Novelists Julia Alvarez and Helena María Viramontes, columnists Juan Williams and Juan Gonzalez and Senate majority leader Harry Reid have also enthusiastically recommended the book.
Advance praise for Still Dreaming
“Read Still Dreaming and you’ll feel better about America. Luis Gutiérrez-a man full of passion, humor and fascinating insights-has never forgotten where he came from, even as he has ascended to the highest levels of public power. Make no mistake, this is the story of an extraordinary American.” -Senator Bill Bradley
“Gutsy, truth-telling, passionate about his Latino community, his multicultural USA, as well as his native Puerto Rico, Gutiérrez is our David, all five feet six inches of him, brave enough to speak truth to the Goliaths of power and influence. At every stage of his heartwarming, honest, wise and funny memoir, we are witness to the journey of a talented and big-hearted boy of conscience who becomes the man of integrity he is today. I have no doubts he should be our first Latino president — a president who not only has the talent to express himself and stir our hearts, but also to walk that talk. But if he’s President, he won’t have time to write more books, and he’s too good a storyteller to lose.” -Julia Alvarez
“Congressman Gutiérrez’s gripping, inspiring story is proof that tenacity is the key that unlocks the American Dream.” -Senator Harry Reid
“In an age of political polarization, Luis Gutiérrez tells stories about the crazy people, the wild deals, the joy of rising from cabdriver to having a vote in Congress. This book is good company.” -Juan Williams, Fox News Political Analyst, columnist for The Hill
“Luis Gutiérrez is not only one of our nation’s most influential Latino leaders, he is a first-class storyteller. He mixes hilarious coming-of-age vignettes of a Puerto Rican kid from the barrio searching for his own identity, astonishing behind-the-scenes accounts of the battles that shaped Chicago’s legendary machine politics, and his own amazing rise to the halls of Congress into a single spellbinding memoir.” -Juan González, author of Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America
“Mesmerizing, sometimes funny, but always passionate, Still Dreaming will inspire us to dream for years to come.” -Helena María Viramontes, author of Their Dogs Came with Them