Orange is the New Black’s star Diane Guerrero stopped by the Strand Bookstore to launch her new book My Family Divided: One Girl’s Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope.
The event was hosted on The Strand Bookstore’s third floor, also known as the “Rare Book Room.” The event was set up for 50 guests while allowing a few more guests to trickle into the event.
With season six of OITNB less than a week away, Guerrero’s book addresses subjects that the show touches upon. While focusing on prison culture and reform, OITNB also focuses on the racial tension in society.
Guerrero plays Maritza Ramos, a character that ended up in Litchfield County Prison after a small run-in with the law.
In the show, Guerrero’s character experiences discrimination within the prison system, but the plot is incomparable to the ordeal she faced growing up as the daughter of Colombian immigrants.
When Guerrero was 14, her parents and her brother faced deportation back to Colombia, leaving the star alone in the United States. She revealed her story in her first book In The Country We Love: My Family Divided. This book detailed Guerrero’s experiences as she navigated through a difficult situation as a teenager.
Inspired by the activism within the younger generation, Guerrero’s second book is the adaptation of her previous book, designed for a younger audience. While the story was re-written for a younger age group, Guerrero assured her experiences were not filtered. “I believe if we educate our children at a young age, the better off we are,” said Guerrero.
Still affected by her family’s deportation, Guerrero was inspired to share her story because of student activism. According to Guerrero, her family was too ashamed to discuss their deportation amongst themselves, let alone to speak up and share their story with the public. Today, Guerrero unapologetically represents herself as a Latina woman affected by the immigration laws in the United States.
“I never thought I would tell my story to serve a larger purpose.” –Diane Guerrero
My Family Divided: One Girl’s Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope is available at The Strand Bookstore as well as In The Country We Love: My Family Divided. If you have not checked out OITNB, it is exclusively available on Netflix. For more information on Guerrero’s book, check out her website.
For more information about events at The Strand Bookstore, visit their website’s events page.