Reyna Grande’s New Novel Explores Love and Loyalty In Wartime

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Portrait of Reyna Grande (left) author of "A Ballad of Love and Glory." (Courtesy Image)

Reyna Grande’s new novel, “A Ballad of Love and Glory,” tells the story of the San Patricios, a battalion of Irish soldiers who fought for Mexico during the Mexican-American War that ended in 1848. The book explores the brutality and contradictions of war while bringing to life the stories of John Riley, the leader of the San Patricios, and Ximena, a woman displaced by the war who becomes an army nurse. Although the Mexican-American war is sometimes called “The Forgotten War,” the conflict reshaped two nations and has had a profound impact on how Mexican Americans are viewed and treated. Grande joins us to talk about the legacy of the war and its parallels to modern day armed conflicts.


Reyna Grande, author of "A Ballad of Love and Glory." Her previous books include the memoirs, "The Distance Between Us," (2012) and "A Dream Called Home" (2018) and the novels, "Across a Hundred Mountains" (2006) and "Dancing with Butterflies" (2009).

Omar Valerio-Jimenez, associate professor of history, University of Texas at San Antonio.