Alejandra Campoverdi at Harvard Book Store


First Gen:
A Memoir


September 15, 2023
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes ALEJANDRA CAMPOVERDI—nationally-recognized women’s health advocate, founder, producer—for a discussion of her new memoir First Gen.

About First Gen

Alejandra Campoverdi has been a child on welfare, a White House aide to President Obama, a Harvard graduate, a gang member’s girlfriend, and a candidate for U.S. Congress. She’s ridden on Air Force One and in G-rides. She’s been featured in Maxim magazine and had a double mastectomy. Living a life of contradictory extremes often comes with the territory when you’re a “First and Only.” It also comes at a price.

With candor and heart, Alejandra retraces her trajectory as a Mexican American woman raised by an immigrant single mother in Los Angeles. Foregoing the tidy bullet points of her resume and instead shining a light on the spaces between them, what emerges is a powerful testimony that shatters the one-dimensional glossy narrative we are often sold of what it takes to achieve the American Dream. In this timely and revealing reflection, Alejandra draws from her own experiences to name and frame the challenges First and Onlys often face, illuminating a road to truth, healing, and change in the process.

Part memoir, part manifesto, First Gen is a story of generational inheritance, aspiration, and the true meaning of belonging—a gripping journey to “reclaim the parts of ourselves we sacrificed in order to survive.”

Praise for First Gen

"A profoundly moving story of how one woman grew to appreciate that the painful challenges and self doubt inherent in being the first and only, were also the source of her extraordinary superpowers. First Gen will inspire countless readers to follow in the path she blazed." ―Valerie Jarrett, former Senior Adviser to President Barack Obama and New York Times bestselling author of Finding My Voice

First Gen is a luminous achievement, one of the most moving debuts in memory . . . Campoverdi transforms the furies, hypocrisies and disappointments of the American dream into a survivor’s song of surpassing poignancy . . . this is literary love medicine, a book you will not soon forget.” ―Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of New York Times bestsellers The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This is How You Lose Her

"Intimate and unflinching, First Gen reveals the very real human and emotional costs to living the "American Dream." Alejandra Campoverdi shines a guiding light for fellow "First and Onlys" who struggle to overcome systemic barriers while detangling generational trauma. No discussion of America's supposed meritocracy is complete without consideration of this book." ―Qian Julie Wang, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Country: A Memoir of An Undocumented Childhood

Mask Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Alejandra Campoverdi
Alejandra Campoverdi

Alejandra Campoverdi

Alejandra Campoverdi is a nationally-recognized women’s health advocate, founder, producer, and former aide in the Obama White House. She produced and appeared in the PBS documentary “Inheritance”, created Latinos & BRCA in partnership with Penn Medicine’s Basser Center, and served as the first White House Deputy Director of Hispanic Media. Alejandra is on the boards of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, and the California Community Foundation. She holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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