Karla Cornejo Villavicencio


Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is telling essential stories about the American immigrant experience.

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is a writer from New York City whose work explores complex, stereotype-defying themes of migration, mental illness, beauty, and intergenerational drama.

A Harvard graduate and doctoral candidate in the American Studies program at Yale, she is the author of “The Undocumented Americans,” a book of literary essays that draws from her own experience as a former, undocumented immigrant from Ecuador, to tell the intimate stories of undocumented immigrants living and working across the U.S. today. The book was a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction, and was selected as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, Time, NPR, The LA Times, The New York Public Library, Book Riot, Vulture, and the Library Journal.

Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Vogue, Elle, and other publications. As an Emerson Collective Senior Fellow, Karla is working on Dreamgirl, a forthcoming novel for young adults, and continues her non-fiction writing.