Gregory Orfalea: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Gregory Orfalea

Author of Journey to the Sun: Junipero Serra’s Dream and the Founding of California

Gregory Orfalea was born and raised in Los Angeles. He is the author of Journey to the Sun: Junipero Serra’s Dream and the Founding of California, published in January 2014 by Scribner. Kirkus Review said of the Serra book, 12 years in the making: “A California story has become an American story.” Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., Cassasa Chair and Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University, noted, “Serra comes alive in this volume as in no other.” Dr. Daniel Krieger, Professor of History at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, called this most comprehensive study of Serra in half a century, “brilliant.”

With degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Alaska, Orfalea has published eight books, including a history of his father’s unit in World War II, Messengers of the Lost Battalion, and Angeleno Days, a memoir of growing up in Los Angeles, which won the Arab American Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN USA Prize in Creative Nonfiction. He is also the author of a collection of short stories, The Man Who Guarded the Bomb, as well as the seminal study, The Arab Americans: A History. Orfalea directed a writing program at the Claremont Colleges and has taught at several universities, including his alma mater, Georgetown, California Lutheran University, and currently at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.

About Angeleno Days, Richard Rodriguez has said, “These essays, recollecting Gregory Orfalea’s American life, are delightful and wise. I don’t think Los Angeles has ever received such lovely valentines from a native son.” The national correspondent of The Atlantic, James Fallows, also said, “Southern California has produced its distinct literary voices, from Nathaniel West and Joan Didion to Walter Mosely and Michael Connelly. Gregory Orfalea is the next in this series.”

Orfalea and his wife have three sons. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

Interested in booking Gregory Orfalea to speak at your next event?

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  • The Last Conquistador and California’s Gospel of Love
  • Junipero Serra: An Extraordinary Life
  • The Love Triangle in the Life of Junipero Serra

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