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  • NYS Writers Institute

EVENT: Jennifer De Leon, author of Don't Ask Me Where I'm From, on Thursday, Nov. 11

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From, by Jennifer De Leon

"De Leon’s debut handles issues such as immigration, deportation, assimilation, and Trump-era racial tensions in a humorous yet resonant way. Throughout, Liliana’s narration remains authentic as she finds her voice, making for a fulfilling, thoroughly contemporary read."


Craft Talk: 4:30 p.m.

Reading/Q&A: 7:30 p.m.,

Both events in the Multi-Purpose Room, Campus Center West Addition, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany 12222

(Note: The 7:30 event was originally scheduled to be held in the Assembly Room.)

Moderator: Ildefonso Apelanz, PhD candidate, Department of Latin American, Caribbean, US Latinos Studies at the University at Albany

Jennifer De Leon
Photo by Alonso Nichols

Jennifer De Leon is an emerging author who is receiving wide acclaim. Julia Alvarez has said, “Jennifer De Leon represents the new generation and exciting voices of Latinx storytellers.”

Her new YA novel, Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From (2020), tells the story of first-generation American Latinx Liliana Cruz and her struggles to fit in at a nearly all-white school. Celeste Ng called it, “A funny, perceptive, and much-needed book telling a much-needed story.”

Her new essay collection, White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, & Writing (2021), received the Juniper Prize for Creative Nonfiction of the University of Massachusetts Press. Her stories and essays have appeared in over a dozen literary magazines and anthologies, including: Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Guernica, and Best Women’s Travel Writing.

Copies of Don't Ask Me Where I'm From will be available for purchase at both events. You may also shop for the book in advance at the local, independent Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.

Jennifer De Leon online



All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask or other face covering while inside any UAlbany owned, operated or leased building.

Unvaccinated individuals are also required to wear face coverings in all outdoor settings. This revised mask requirement will remain in place until the University removes the requirement upon the recommendations of the CDC or other public health officials. Individuals should not attend our in-person events if they — or anyone in their household — are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.


Courtesy parking for Writers Institute events on the Uptown Campus will be available in the State Quad Student Parking Lot one hour prior to and one hour after events.

Visitor parking lots are also available for $5 per vehicle, though parking spaces are very limited.

For a map of the UAlbany campuses including parking lots, visit


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