Nov 20, 2020 1 min, 22 secs

"I’m not sure I get you,” a director told Hinojosa after an audition when she was a young aspiring actress, informing her she was not white enough, not Mexican enough, not tall enough, not short enough, not street enough and not sophisticated enough.

Her acting aspirations began to wane that day, but they were superseded by a drive to become a voice for the Latino community and to inform audiences about the changing political and social landscape of the country.

Now Hinojosa, 59, reflects on her storied, and sometimes stormy, career in her book, “Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America.”.

Both Hinojosa and her husband, artist German Pérez, recovered from the coronavirus earlier this year.

Writing a book is a solitary experience, Hinojosa noted, so she has missed the experience of doing live readings and appearances.

I am a people person; I am a hugger,” says Hinojosa, who has stayed busy with virtual events, but has missed the “community-building” experience of connecting with readers in person.

In “Once I Was You,” Hinojosa unspools a story that is uniquely her own.

After attending Barnard College, where she hosted a late-night radio show, she began her career at NPR before going on to report for PBS, CBS and CNN.

It was relatively late in her career that Hinojosa began to truly believe in herself.

Interspersed with her own story, Hinojosa recounts modern American immigration history, from the Bracero Program (1942) to the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.

Surveying today’s media landscape, Hinojosa has mixed feelings.

“These have been very dark times for our country,” Hinojosa says


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