You are here: Home / News / 2012 Summer Shared Read: The Devil’s Highway

2012 Summer Shared Read: The Devil’s Highway


 The Honors College has chosen Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Devil’s Highway for this summer’s Shared Read.  His work was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction, and it won the Lannan Literary Award in 2004.  Urrea will discuss his bestselling nonfiction account with the Honors community at the Honors Convocation later this fall.

Urrea tells the true story of a modern-day odyssey through a region nicknamed the Devil’s Highway.  In May 2001, 26 men crossed the border into the desert of southern Arizona.  Less than half would reach its end.

This account presents the men who dared to brave crossing a veritable hell-on-earth.  Urrea describes the poverty that pushed these men across the border and the human and natural forces that tried to push them back.  The Devil’s Highway is a testament to the courage and fortitude these men exhibited to reach their journey’s end.

“[The Devil’s Highway] is a description of what life in Mexico is like, and the lengths [these men] would go to get to the United States,” said Dr. Ann Holmes, Associate Dean of the LSU Honors College.  “He puts names and faces with these immigrants, with these people, who are so desperate to escape Mexico to get to this country that they put themselves in such danger.  I would hope that [this book] helps students appreciate being American citizens and being in this country.”

Designed to introduce new students to the academic and intellectual environment of the Honors College, the Honors College Shared Reading program gives incoming students the opportunity to meet faculty members and interact with other freshmen. 

Before they arrive on campus in August, all incoming Honors students will be required to read The Devil's Highway, which will be available in the LSU Bookstore during Spring Invitational (March 28-30).  In the fall, they will have the opportunity to hear the author address the LSU community during the annual Honors College Convocation. 

To learn more about The Devil’s Highway or its author, visit