Heidi Durrow, YA author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, on her Dallas roots


Heidi Durrow is the author of the young adult novel, “The Girl Who Fell from the Sky.” It’s a story about a young biracial girl grappling with her identity.

Durrow will meet students and the public at Bishop Dunne Catholic School as part of their annual Literary Festival.

“I hope that the students who are reading it will find some piece of themselves in it, some piece of themselves that they haven’t been able to articulate either to themselves or to someone else in their family or in their lives,” she said.

Durrow’s book won a national prize for fiction that addresses social justice. It’s also been banned for its sexual content and depictions of rape.

She says banning books that address race impedes students’ freedom and their opportunity to see themselves reflected.

The book cover for Heidi Durrow’s “The Girl Who Fell From The Sky”, which will be discussed at this year’s Bishop Dunne Literary Festival.

Durrow hopes her book prompts a larger discussion.

“I hope maybe they’ll find something that sparks them to say, ‘Why should this book be banned?’ I want to know from them what would they have lost if they hadn’t been able to read the book?”

She also hopes her book inspires.

“I grew up oversees, my dad was in the Air Force, but when we moved to Portland when I was 11 my parents divorced and it changed our economics drastically. We went from living essentially a socialist life, on base housing in Germany, to living in a very poor neighborhood. We were on food stamps and welfare for a long time. And so, that was a pretty shocking difference. And then to become the first person in my family to go to college. I hope people will find some inspiration within the fact that there is a chance to do something that hasn’t happened before in your generation. There is a way to pursue something other than just safety, but also creativity. I just hope they like the book, and like the story too.”

Durrow says in many ways the book is also inspired by her own life

“One of the things I chose to do with the story was to complicate the idea of Black identity and maybe be able to provide different models of what Black womanhood could be. The character Grandma Doris is not my grandmother, but my grandmother is from Texas. My family is from Dallas originally, my dad grew up on the 3500 block of Booker Street until he was, I think, 14. And the roots in my grandmother and my grandfather go way back in Texas, in Dallas.”

The public is invited to hear Durrow speak at the Bishop Dunne Catholic School Auditorium at 7 pm Thursday March 23.